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CO detector saves lives of Ballard couple and their pet

Posted by Danielle Anthony-Goodwin on March 26th, 2014


SPD Investigators determined the cause of the CO Poisoning was accidental. The couple is now recovering at Virginia Mason Medical Center and their dog has been taken in by a neighbor.

Original Post:

A Ballard couple and their pet were rescued by firefighters early this morning after a Carbon Monoxide alarm alterted neighbors to an emergency situation. Check out more details from the SFD Fire Line blog below:

Firefighters rescued a couple and a dog out of a Ballard townhome full of Carbon Monoxide this morning.

Prior to the firefighter’s arrival, a PSE employee was called to a townhome located in the 800 block of NW 52nd Street to look into a CO Alarm sounding in Unit B of a two-unit complex. While investigating the cause of the CO Alarm activating, the PSE employee discovered a car running in the closed garage of Unit A.

At 5:12 this morning dispatchers at the Fire Alarm Center received a 911 call from the PSE employee reporting the running car. When firefighters arrived they made forcible entry into the 3-story home. Inside Unit A, they found two semi-conscious patients who collapsed at the top of the staircase . The patients demonstrated symptoms of CO poisoning. Firefighters rescued the couple and their dog. Once outside the home, the two patients began to regain consciousness. The dog did not show any visible symptoms of CO poisoning.

Medics evaluated the patients, a male and a female in their 30’s, and transported them to Virginia Mason Medical Center to be placed in the hyperbaric chamber. The patients were conscious and stable at the time of the transport.

Fire crews measured the CO levels in Unit A and found the levels to be 1300 parts-per-million. Greater
than 35 ppm Exceeds acceptable levels for continued exposure. CO is an odorless colorless gas that can be deadly. It’s often times called the “Silent Killer”. According to the National Fire Protection Association a person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.

Firefighters used industrial fans to ventilate the townhome and to make the environment safe for the occupants to return to the units.

The family in the non-affected unit had left prior to firefighters arrival to stay with relatives.

If your CO alarm sounds, get out immediately and call 911.

The Fire Department is thankful for the diligence and quick actions of the PSE employee. The on-scene fire officer stated two occupants of the home would not have survived without the actions of the Puget Sound employee.

For more information on danger of Carbon Monoxide click here.

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6 reader comments so far ↓

  • 1 Jerry // Mar 26, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    This is rather strange.

    Whose car was left running in the garage?
    Why would a CO alarm trigger the house-call of a PSE employee rather than emergency services?
    Was there a CO detector in the dwelling (to actually alert the homeowners, who were likely asleep)?

    “The dog did not show any visible symptoms of CO poisoning.”
    We know who the smartest one in the household is!

  • 2 lynn // Mar 26, 2014 at 3:06 pm

    And WHY was the car left running in the garage? accident or murder/suicide? Who called PSE vs. 911? Strange story.

  • 3 Steve // Mar 26, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Very glad to hear everyone is OK. This had the potential for a very bad outcome.

  • 4 Sam // Mar 26, 2014 at 7:33 pm


    Murder suicide? Oh come on, use some common sense, the dog did it:

    “The dog did not show any visible symptoms of CO poisoning.”

  • 5 Sam // Mar 26, 2014 at 7:34 pm

    Tell me the dog doesn’t look guilty:

  • 6 Luke // Mar 27, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    An accidental trigger of a remote starter would be my guess.

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