SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Fire officials say 5 people are in critical condition following a carbon monoxide incident at a home in Smithfield Wednesday night.
A 911 call came in around 8:30 p.m. for a house on Pleasant View Avenue, in the Greenville section of town.
Officials confirmed that the call was carbon monoxide related and five advanced life support rescues were made.
Three children, ages 7, 9 and 11, were taken to Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Two were unconscious at the time of transportation, according to the Smithfield Fire Chief Robert Seltzer.
The two adults, a mother, and father, were transported to Fatima Hospital, said Seltzer. The mother was unconscious at the time.
The father had been working in the garage when he entered the house to find his three children and their mother unconscious.
“From what we can understand there was also some soot in the house which is indicative of a heating system failure of some sort. It appears to be an oil fire heating system. As of this point right now everybody is alive and we’re hopeful there are no long term neurological problems,” said Chief Seltzer.
Smithfield fire officials confirmed there were no functional carbon monoxide detectors inside the home because batteries had been removed.
Based on the condition of the children, Chief Seltzer believes CO exposure was short in duration but enough to cause unconsciousness.
Officials say the concentration of carbon monoxide inside the home was at 700 parts per million, which is over 650 parts more than what is considered to be dangerously high levels.
“The levels were extremely high. We had readings up to 499 parts per million in the house. At one point the initial readings going into the house were over 700 so very very high. Typically once we get over 35-40 parts per million, we get worried about it,” said Chief Seltzer.
This latest incident comes after a 9-year-old boy died of CO poisoning in Acushnet just two months ago.
To avoid CO poisoning officials recommend to always make sure your vents are clear and that in-home appliances are properly installed. Also, never use gas ovens to heat your home and don’t use charcoal grills or gasoline-powered engines indoors. It’s important to have functional CO detectors in your home.