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6 hospitalized after ‘excess of carbon monoxide’ detected in Edmonton townhouse

Click to play video: 'Carbon monoxide sends 6 to hospital' Carbon monoxide sends 6 to hospital
WATCH ABOVE: A problem with an old furnace sent several people to hospital Friday morning. Sarah Kraus has the details from south Edmonton – Oct 21, 2016

A family of six was taken to hospital as a precaution Friday morning after an “excess of carbon monoxide” was found inside their south Edmonton townhouse.

Alberta Health Services said everyone who was taken to hospital was in stable condition.

A spokesman for Capital Region Housing said a furnace in one of the residences – at 105 Street and 38 Avenue – was to blame.

“I understand that there was a problem with the furnace in one of the townhomes here,” Greg Dewling said. “It caused an excess of carbon monoxide in the home and so the family was taken to hospital.”

By Friday afternoon, they were on their way back home, he said.

“They will be fine, so that’s good news,” Dewling said.

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“We’re very happy that the family – while they did have some symptoms related to the carbon monoxide – they’re safe.”

“We’ve identified the problem with the furnace. In fact, it’s already been replaced,” Dewling said.

A new carbon monoxide detector was also installed in the home. Dewling said these townhouses were scheduled to have carbon monoxide detectors installed in them.

He added Capital Region Housing will check all the homes at the location to ensure all the furnaces have been upgraded.

“This is a rare occurrence,” Dewling said. “We regularly upgrade our furnaces. Obviously, this one hadn’t been upgraded yet so it was taken care of right away.”

AHS said carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas and is highly poisonous. At low levels, exposure to it can cause flu-like symptoms without fever. Prolonged exposure can lead to unconsciousness and even death.

“The best safety precaution to take against exposure … is to install and test C-O detectors on every floor of your home,” Edmonton Fire Rescue spokeswoman Jill McKenzie said.

“Make sure the dryer, furnace, stove and fireplace ducting and vents are inspected to ensure they are clear of any obstructions including debris, nests and snow accumulations.”

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With files from Caley Ramsay, Global News

*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article originally stated seven people were taken to hospital, which is what AHS initially told Global News. In an email later Friday, Edmonton Fire Rescue said six people were hospitalized.

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