Chief: Batteries removed from CO detectors in Smithfield home

SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — While a woman who was rushed to the hospital Wednesday night with carbon monoxide poisoning remains in critical children, her three children – who were also poisoned – are improving.

A total of five people were taken to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning Wednesday night.

The chief said a man found his wife and three children – ages 7, 9, and 11 – unconscious. He came in from the garage around 8:30 p.m. and called 911 after finding his family members in the living room.

The fire chief said the prognosis for the children is good. However, their mother has not regained consciousness.

“All the children at Hasbro Hospital are reported to be in stable condition, still in ICU and being monitored, but they are stable. The mother is at Fatima Hospital in ICU and is in critical condition,” said Smithfield Fire Chief Robert Seltzer, who said the husband has been released from the hospital.

Learn More: Fire Prevention Guide »
Learn More: Fire & Carbon Monoxide Safety »

Seltzer said both the carbon monoxide and smoke detectors – which were in the home when the family moved in a year ago – were taken down.

“The message is clear, you’ve got to have smoke detectors and you’ve got to have carbon monoxide detectors. If you need detectors, we will provide them for you,” Seltzer said.

Fire investigators are confident the CO buildup was due to a blocked heating system flue – sending the poisonous gas back into the home.

Officials said the family rented the home – which is owned by Greenville Public Library.

Chief Seltzer said the library holds the home because of plans to build an access road through the property to the library.

A GoFundMe page has been set up to raise money for the family. Click here to donate »