How stored wood pellets can set off a carbon monoxide alarm

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 5:35 PM EDT
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Vt. (WCAX) - Fire crews in Williamstown say a smoke alarm warned a homeowner about a bag of wood pellets that almost spontaneously combusted.

The Williamstown Fire Department was called to a home on Falls Bridge Road for a chirping carbon monoxide detector.

After struggling to find the source of the odorless gas, they noticed a stack of wood pellet bags was heating up. Like wet stacked hay, the bagged wood pellets in the bags began to oxidize and heated up to 125 degrees.

So officials are reminding people to store them safely and check their smoke alarms.

“The best thing if you do store them inside is to make sure you have a working smoke detector or CO detector to give that quick awareness that something isn’t right and not to just ignore the signs of a chirping detector,” Williamstown Fire Chief William Graham said.

The Red Cross of Northern New England gives out free smoke alarms to anyone who needs one. Click here to find out more.