Dallas couple, firefighters hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning

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A carbon monoxide leak sent a husband, wife and seven firefighters to the hospital Friday morning in Dallas.

Investigators said the fumes came from a car with a push-button start that was left running for several hours.

Dallas Fire-Rescue said it happened around 3 a.m. at a townhome near Holland and Lemmon
Avenues in Oak Lawn. A man woke up, noticed his wife was sick and called 911.

The woman's husband and the firefighters who responded also started to feel sick. That's when first responders checked and found a high level of carbon monoxide in the room.

Investigators later found the woman’s push-button start car running in the garage and believe it had been running for about 12 hours, since she had come home from work.

The woman and her husband were taken to the hospital along with seven firefighters who responded to the emergency. The woman and one of the firefighters were admitted for further observation. All are expected to be okay.

Dr. Mario Marini with the Dallas Poison Center says the situation could have been much worse if the couple had not woken up.

“We would unfortunately would have had two fatalities,” Marini said.

Carbon monoxide poisoning from keyless vehicles has killed at least 28 people since 2006. The New York Times reported in May that in all cases, drivers forgot to turn off their vehicles inside attached garages.

Residents in the other four attached town homes were evacuated for a short time until hazmat crews could determine they were safe.

“Fireman came in, measured the level of carbon monoxide in the air, said it was dangerously high, and I needed to exit. I grabbed a few things and I left,” said neighbor Mridula Nadamuni.

One resident said she had actually been planning to install a carbon monoxide detector. Marini said that’s a good idea.

“This should be placed in every room where someone is sleeping,” Marini said.

It’s not clear whether the couple had a carbon monoxide detector in their home and whether it was working.