BREMERTON, Wash. – Firefighters believe a teenager’s quick thinking likely saved her own life.
A carbon monoxide monitor blared in Elia Swann’s Kitsap County home on Tuesday. Firefighters from Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue said the poisonous gas was approaching dangerous levels.
At first, the Swann family thought the leak originated from the cars in their garage but firefighters later traced the source to the family’s gas furnace.
“We’re not allowed to turn the heater on until we get a repair guy,” said Elia.
A pair of space heaters is the now the only source of warmth inside the Swann’s home until a technician can repair the furnace.
The family’s brush with carbon monoxide poisoning has Elia’s step-mother Teresa feeling grateful they had a monitor installed in the stairway.
“I feel blessed,” Teresa said, “God was watching over us.”
Elia, 17, was home alone when the CO alarm went off. Teresa thought she had a good idea where the leak had originated.
“I’ve heard it go off before thinking it was my truck in the garage,” said Teresa.
“She’s like, ‘Oh it’s just the truck,” Elia said. ‘You don’t have to worry about it.’
Elia called 911 for help. Firefighters said they used an electronic sensor in the home and discovered dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
“High reading of 120 parts per million of CO in the home,” said Ileana LiMarzi with CKFR. “They opened everything up, turned off the furnace and got to work finding the source.”
Firefighters believe the source of the poisonous gas come from the family’s gas furnace, not the vehicles parked in their garage.
“I’m so glad she thought about calling 911,” said Teresa.
Teresa is grateful her step-daughter didn’t dismiss the incident as a false alarm.
Colder temperatures in the forecast have firefighters warning other families to be aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Firefighters recommend families use multiple CO alarms in homes.
More information about the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning can be found on the CDC’s website.