Columbus fire chief issues warning after family poisoned by carbon monoxide

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — A north Columbus family is safe after all four of them suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning early Monday morning.

Dawan McCrary, his wife Sondra Dillow, and their two children came down with various symptoms. It was when their 8-year-old son began vomiting that they knew something was very wrong.

“They [medical personnel] actually said that they were surprised that I even drove to the hospital, that I didn’t pass out on the way to the hospital,” Dillow said.

The children, as well as Dillow, were admitted to the Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital, treated, and released.

The family lives in the Chesapeake Mill apartments, near OH-161 and Cleveland Avenue.

Firefighters have yet to determine the cause of the leak, but they said they turned off the natural gas for the furnace and the hot water heater to the apartment. They also ventilated the home before allowing anyone back inside the unit.

“We almost died,” McCrary said. “We’re just happy to be alive.”

The family said they did not have carbon monoxide detectors in their home, although they have since installed several.

“Those carbon monoxide detectors are the most important things to have in your home,” McCrary said.

With the winter months approaching, the Columbus Division of Fire is also encouraging the public to install carbon monoxide detectors.

“You can’t see it or smell it, so the only way you’re going to know if you have an issue is if you have a carbon monoxide detector in the house,” said Battalion Chief Steve Martin. “We would recommend at least one in every level of the house, and specifically just outside the sleeping area.”

Martin said it is also important to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a month.

Anyone who would like to request a detector from the fire department can call (614) 724-0935. 

At the Chesapeake Mill apartments, a maintenance worker said his team is now in the process of installing detectors in every unit.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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