Three North Laurel residents were rushed to the hospital Tuesday morning with carbon monoxide poisoning, the result, county fire officials said, of a generator found operating inside their house.
The three, one male and two females (one of whom had called 911), were taken to the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center in Baltimore. The two females were released later on Tuesday morning, according to a Howard County Department of Fire and Rescue Services spokesman.
The male, who was admitted in critical condition, remains hospitalized in serious condition, he said.
The spokesman added all three patients were treated in the hyperbaric chamber at the University of Maryland Shock Trauma Center, and the male patient is expected to receive hyperbaric therapy again tomorrow.
Shortly before 5 a.m. firefighters and paramedics responding to an emergency call arrived at a house in the 9700 block of Brevard Street. There, they found three people with elevated levels of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Firefighters found a generator at the bottom of the stairs on the ground floor of the house. It was located in a doorway that led to the garage, but the garage was closed, which firefighters said restricted the ventilation.
Firefighters later confirmed that the amount of carbon monoxide in the home was more than 30 times the normal level.
The firefighters used a piece of equipment called a gas badge, which immediately notified them of the danger upon entering the home. The equipment minimized their own risk of carbon monoxide exposure and enabled them to more easily identify the problem.
Prince George's County fire personnel assisted in the rescue effort.
In the wake of the incident, the Howard County Fire and Rescue Department is reminding county residents not to operate a generator inside a home. Additional safety tips, translated in three languages, can be found at http://www.howardcountymd.gov/departments.aspx?id=6442466639