Emergency responders say two people are lucky to be alive after high levels of carbon monoxide were found in their Lac Ste. Anne County home on Sunday.
The on-scene EMS supervisor said the blood gas counts of the two victims — a man and a woman — were “the highest in anyone he had encountered in living patients,” a news release from the county said.
Alberta Health Services and fire crews were called to a home near Township Road 535 and Range Road 20 at 6:01 a.m. on Jan. 14. A resident called 911 and said they were unable to move. The county said firefighters arrived on scene at 6:05 a.m.
CO monitors thrown into the home went off, confirming carbon monoxide. Firefighters used masks and found two victims semi-conscious on the floor in the master bedroom.
The couple was rescued from the home and treated by EMS. They were then taken to hospital and treated in a hyperbaric chamber. They are expected to make a full recovery.
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The CO counts in the home approached 800 ppm in areas of the home and 400 ppm in the bedroom. That amount is fatal within two to three hours of continuous exposure, the county said.
Since the pair were sleeping in those conditions, “the victims are considered lucky to have survived and extremely fortunate that one of them was able to dial 911,” the county release said.
It said there were no carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
The fire chief said the gas company determined the boiler had failed its last inspection and was the source of the carbon monoxide.
“It was also leaking raw natural gas, causing the gas air mixture to hit the lower explosive limit while it was being investigated, necessitating the evacuation of emergency service personnel and the gas employee from the home. LSAC Fire Services immediately shut the gas supply to the home off preventing any further issues.”
The county said the two firefighters who rescued the pair were Mackenzie Maidment and Josh Pare-White but described all the firefighers and EMS personnel as heroes.
Lac Ste. Anne County is about 110 kilometres northwest of Edmonton.