Deadly carbon monoxide levels force evacuation

Severna Park family of 4 is treated and released

January 09, 2001|By Johnathon E. Briggs | Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF

A family of four was evacuated from its Severna Park home yesterday morning after carbon monoxide levels reached potentially toxic levels, county fire officials reported.

Firefighters were called to the home in the 200 block of Glencolter Court in the Oak Grove neighborhood about 12:40 a.m. for reports of a gas odor, said Lt. Frank Fennell, a county Fire Department spokesman.

Using instruments, firefighters detected high levels of carbon monoxide throughout the house, the largest reading being 128 parts per million near the furnace.

Fennell said that according to Environmental Protection Agency guidelines, levels exceeding 9 ppm in an eight-hour period can be deadly.

Thomas Patschorke, 30, his wife and their two sons, 2 and 2 months, were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis, where they were treated and released.

The wife had flulike symptoms that mimic carbon monoxide poisoning, Fennell said.

Firefighters told the family to stay out of the house until the gas furnace - the suspected source of the problem - was checked and repaired, Fennell said.

The family had a carbon monoxide detector, but authorities said it failed to sound an alarm.

Fire officials said homes should have at least one carbon monoxide detector.

Gas appliances such as stoves and furnaces should be inspected annually, the officials said.

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