Nine people from Edgemere, including a critically ill child, were transported Sunday to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center yesterday with apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.

BCoFD crews were dispatched to the 7800 block of St. Claire Lane, 21222, at about 7:30 a.m. and quickly discovered elevated levels of deadly carbon monoxide (CO) gas in three rowhomes.

Carbon monoxide -- an invisible, odorless gas -- is produced as a result of incomplete fuel combustion. In this case, residents were running a portable generator in a stairwell because there was no power to the home, and the gas permeated the homes.

Generators must be placed at least 15 feet from doors and windows to avoid having poisonous gas enter the home.

Fire crews identified the generator as the source of the problem and ventilated the buildings. 

Eleven additional patients were evaluated at the scene but refused transport to the hospital.

Preventing Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that each year carbon monoxide gas is responsible for more than 50,000 emergency department visits, resulting in more than 400 deaths. Our fact sheet on CO poisoning explains how this deadly gas is produced and the symptoms of CO poisoning.

BCoFD strongly encourages every home and business to protect itself against deadly CO building by installing carbon monoxide alarms. These alarms sound an alert when CO begins to build up so you can get out of the building and call first responders before you become ill. High levels of CO can kill in a short period of time.

BCoFD's Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Educational Program  provides education and training tailored to individual residents. The program includes funds for alarms for residents who participate in the educational program and meet the program criteria.