By Evan Anderson, News 9
OKLAHOMA CITY-- A southwest Oklahoma City family woke up suddenly ill Tuesday morning because of a dangerous carbon monoxide leak in their attic. Firefighters and EMSA paramedics were called out around 7 a.m. Tuesday, and had to take a teen to the hospital.
Neighbors on S.E. 96th St. noticed the emergency vehicles outside their home.
"I looked out to see what was going on, I noticed there was an ambulance on the street, and then pretty soon, I heard fire trucks, and a lot more going on, and so I knew that there was something serious going on," said next door neighbor Liz Thomas.
OKC fire officials say four family members became extremely sick after dangerous levels of carbon monoxide came from a loose pipe in their attic.
"My first thought, was that something actually happened to someone," said Thomas, "You don't actually think of Carbon Monoxide poisoning, that's really not something that ever crosses your mind."
But, as the mercury dips and people across the area begin switching on their heaters, Deputy Chief Marc Woodard wants people to be prepared.
"It's just a good safety reminder for people especially with winter coming on to have their units checked, If they can have contractor come out and check it, do an annual check on it," Woodard said.
There are common symptoms to look for if you're exposed to carbon monoxide.
"Things you really want to look for is a severe headache, very flush, very red faced, just shortness of breath, chest pain, stuff like that," said EMSA paramedic, John Graham.
"You can't smell it, you can't see it, and you can get sick before you can even know what's going on," Thomas said.
You can get carbon monoxide detectors for just under $20. They work just like a smoke detector in your home.
EMSA says so far this year, nine people have been treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. The average is 10 a year.