In our homes, there are things we wouldn’t know were dangerous until it happens. There are things we cannot see, smell, or taste that exist around us. This family encountered one of these dangerous situations unknowingly in the middle of the night. If it wasn’t for a fuzzy little angel, things could have turned out much worse.
Carbon Monoxide Poisoning by Generator
The Stamper family in Farmington Hills, Michigan had a situation on their hands. Their power was out, and they needed to run a generator for their appliances. The generator happily hummed in the garage, giving power to the most-needed areas of the home. But while it worked, it was silently poisoning the air, due to insufficient ventilation in the enclosed indoor space.
That night, Heidi and Ronald, along with their children Paige and Quinn, decided to turn in for bed. The garage door was open for ventilation, so they didn’t think there was need to worry about the generator running. Then somehow, in the middle of the night, the garage door closed. Invisible gas starting building up inside the home.
*WARNING – generators should always be used OUTDOORS at least 10 ft from your home and any covered spaces. Open garages can still allow fumes to condense in the space.*
Generators cause a toxic odorless, colorless gas called carbon monoxide. This gas is created anytime fuel is burned in a car, engine, or fireplace, among other places. Since the garage door was now shut, the carbon monoxide started building up inside the house. If you don’t have a detector, no one would know the gas was there!
Thankfully, the family had a different kind of detector than a normal fire alarm. Because around 3 am, the family’s our-month-old kitten Thor woke Heidi by screaming at the top of his lungs.
Heidi saw Thor looked very sick, so she took him outside for some fresh air. Noticing he was feeling better, she went back into the house with him. But that’s when things took a turn for the worst.
Video by Inside Edition:
Thor Saves the Day
Thor truly is a hero just like his namesake! When Heidi re-entered the house with him, she almost immediately lost consciousness from the toxic fumes. But not Thor! Thor continued his loud screeching noise and woke up Quinn and Paige. The two children saw their unconscious mother on the floor and their father, Ronald, was groggy and only semi-conscious. Along with Thor, they were able to get everyone out of the house and breathe healthier air again.
Keep Generators Outside – Install Alarms
Firefighters arrived and the children and Heidi were airlifted to the ProMedica Hospital in Toledo, Ohio due to the extent of the poisoning. Today, everyone is doing just fine, including little Thor. According to their GoFundMe page, the family is home safe along with Thor and their dog.
“This is a frightening example of how carbon monoxide can accumulate quickly and potentially be fatal,” said Fire Chief Jon Unruh. “Fortunately, this incident had a positive ending, but we hope all families will learn from the Stampers and keep their generators outside.”
Since the incident, the Stampers and their neighbors have bought and installed CO alarms. The house originally didn’t have an alarm, but Thor made the best alarm ever! Thanks to him, his family is safe from what could have been the last night of their lives.
It’s a great reminder to install a carbon monoxide detector and to be mindful about keeping generators outside. It’s clearly also a reminder that cats are awesome.
Video by Click On Detroit | Local 4 | WDIV: