Monday night, four people came back to their Plaistow, New Hampshire home from an out-of-town business conference. The next morning, police were called there for a welfare check and found them in their beds. One was in critical condition, and three of them would never wake up, dead in their sleep from a silent killer: carbon monoxide.
"We make the assumption that they succumbed while they were sleeping, which is not uncommon with carbon monoxide, it's a deadly killer, odorless, colorless, tasteless," says Plaistow Fire Dept. Chief John McArdle.
Those qualities mean that knowing the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning could save your life. But the key symptoms -- headache, nausea, vomiting, thirst, and disorientation -- are often confused with the flu.
"It could fool a lot of people and that's why often they'll wait until it's almost too late before they make the call because it does look like so many other things," says Jim Esdon with the Dartmouth Hitchcock Injury Prevention Center.
In Plaistow, a faulty propane furnace leaked the gas into the house. Investigators found carbon monoxide levels were ten times the level at which a detector would have sounded. The batteries in the detector had been removed. Experts say that there needs to be a working one on every floor, outside every living area. And in snowstorms, or when there's snow falling off the roof, check to make sure the vents for burning appliances aren't blocked. And if you feel sick, get out and call 9-1-1.
"If you know the signs ahead of time and you do have an appliance that's burning and you know that this could happen, again, just get right outside and get that fresh air in," Edson says.
Carbon monoxide detectors will sound a series of four beeps continuously if the gas is detected in the home. If you are ever in doubt, call 9-1-1 immediately. The fire department will come check and can ventilate your home if they need to.
Friday, April 18 2014 12:04 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:04:40 GMT
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road. Investigators say 63-year-old Eric Ladd was walking slipped and hitMore >>
A Putney man was taken to the hospital after police say he was run over in a driveway. It happened this afternoon on Kimball Hill Road.More >>
Friday, April 18 2014 12:00 AM EDT2014-04-18 04:00:59 GMT
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire. On Wednesday workers were doing spring clean-up at Wheelock park when they found a 55-gallon drumMore >>
Police are searching for clues after a homemade bottle bomb was found at a park in Keene New Hampshire.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:58 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:58:40 GMT
There's been a tragedy on the Burlington beltway Thursday night. Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltway. The name has been releasedMore >>
Burlington Police confirm that a 24-year-old Winooski man was killed in a motorcycle crash that shutdown the beltline.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:08 PM EDT2014-04-18 03:08:04 GMT
Police say two people found dead at a home in Stowe are believed to have died in a murder-suicide. Police are still not releasing their names or the cause of death, but they say the victims are adults. StoweMore >>
A Stowe couple is dead after what police say was a murder-suicide. The news came as a shock to neighbors who say they never noticed any red flags. More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 6:58 PM EDT2014-04-17 22:58:26 GMT
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury. Timothy Foley did appear in court Thursday in Middlebury. He wasn't there last time,More >>
A man charged with shooting his neighbor and two Vermont State Police officers was in court Thursday in Middlebury.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 11:26 AM EDT2014-04-17 15:26:34 GMT
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to...More >>
A 79-year-old woman accused of causing the death of a motorcyclist in Vermont last year has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of careless or negligent operation and has received a suspended sentence of six to 12 months.More >>
Thursday, April 17 2014 12:05 PM EDT2014-04-17 16:05:16 GMT
A teenager has been arrested for making a bomb threat in St. Albans. Police say the threat was made to Project SOAR, an alternative school, Wednesday morning. The building was searched and no bomb wasMore >>
Police say a teenager has been arrested for allegedly making a bomb threat to an alternative school in St. Albans.More >>