A family of five was taken to a hospital early Wednesday after they were overcome by carbon monoxide that firefighters think came from a charcoal grill that was smoldering on a porch near a door.
Wendell Fire Chief Brian Staples said a 911 call about 4 a.m. sent firefighters and EMS medics to the house on Fox Run Farm Lane near Riley Hill Road.
An initial call told first responders that one person was unconscious, Staples said. Dispatchers then upgraded the call after getting more information.
The odorless, invisible gas was concentrated in one room, but that room was where the people were, Staples said.
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Two adults and three children were taken to a hospital for treatment or examination.
The house did not have a carbon monoxide alarm, which Staples said likely was because it had no gas appliances to be sources of the debilitating gas.
Carbon monoxide is a product of incomplete fuel combustion. Public safety officials repeatedly warn people to be sure that generators used during power outages are far enough from buildings to avoid causing CO buildup inside.
The same advice applies to gas or kerosene space heaters used in winter.
“As best we can determine,” Staples said, the carbon monoxide Wednesday came from the charcoal grill.
With hurricane season coming, Staples urged people with generators to be sure they are ventilated, and he warned that bringing gas or charcoal grills indoors to cook poses the same risk.