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A total of 11 people were transported to area hospitals from a single Villa Park residence following exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide Sunday morning.
Just before 9 a.m. Sunday, Oct. 18, Villa Park paramedics responded to a call for a teen suffering from a headache in the 200 block of West Division Street. Upon arrival, paramedics found four additional individuals with similar symptoms to the teen outside the home.
Paramedics called for a carbon monoxide monitor and determined the carbon monoxide level at the entrance to the home was 300 parts per million (ppm). One to two hours of exposure to this level of carbon monoxide could cause dizziness, nausea and headaches. Inside the basement of the home, the furnace room carbon monoxide levels exceeded 1000 ppm – a lethal level.
A total of 11 people, ages 6-61, were transported to area hospitals from the residence. All 11 are believed to have been released since the incident. Nicor Gas has secured and shut off gas to the home, and the residents will be displaced until a reputable company can inspect and repair the furnace.
“These residents were very fortunate,” said Villa Park Fire Chief Ron Rakosnik following the incident.
The Villa Park Fire Department reminds residents that working carbon monoxide detectors are required by law in every dwelling within 15 feet of every room used for sleeping. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas.
Having a reputable company inspect furnaces and fire places every year – especially after they have not been used during warm summer weather – can prevent exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide.
The Village of Villa Park thanks the Elmhurst Fire Department, Lombard Fire Department, Addison Fire Protection District, Oak Brook Terrace Fire Prevention District and York Center Fire Prevention District for their assistance on this call.