Family hospitalized after carbon monoxide leak

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jan 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-01 23:31:16-05

A Milwaukee family ended up in the hospital on New Year's Day after their apartment filled with carbon monoxide. The Milwaukee Fire Department rushed to the scene after they received the call saying the whole family was feeling sick and dizzy.

A man living in the 2500 block of W. Glendale Avenue says he woke up this morning to find firefighters at his building and his neighbors outside, struggling to stand.

"All the people inside say they were sleeping and kids were foaming at the mouth and they were all falling out," says Sammie Green.

He ran over to help. He says the mother was leaning over while trying to hold up her kids. Everyone seemed to be dizzy. The children were trying to lay down.

"They said just keep them woke, don't let them go to sleep," Green says that's what paramedics directed him to do as he tried to help.

Firefighters went into the apartment, but their own alarms sounded.

"When they walked into this building they had readings as high as 300 parts per million early on so the officer made decision to immediately withdraw," says Deputy Chief Terry Lintonen, Milwaukee Fire Department.

They had the nearby residents evacuate. Even without the crews' own CO detectors going off, they say they had a good idea what the problem was. Dizziness and feeling like you have the flu are all symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Anytime you have multiple people complaining about the same types of things usually source will be CO," Lintonen says.

Firefighters found a vent from the furnace was not working correctly so the poisonous gas was leaking into the building. The family, which includes four children and two adults, all had to be take to the hospital.