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Carbon monoxide poisoning sickens 6


Five members of a Randallstown family and a friend were taken to the University of Maryland Medical Center yesterday for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Baltimore County Fire Department.

The family was using a gas generator for electricity inside the basement of the house, in the 4900 block of Old Court Road, because the power was off, according to the Fire Department.

The family returned to their home around midnight, and the parents smelled something unusual, said Elise Armacost, a Fire Department spokeswoman. The parents went down to the basement to investigate, while three children and the couple's 22-year-old daughter went outside to walk the family's dogs, Armacost said.

When the children returned, the 22-year-old found the parents unconscious in the basement and called 911 around 1 a.m., Armacost said.

The three adults and three children were taken to the Maryland Shock Trauma Center's hyperbaric chamber, Armacost said. A police report identified those taken to University Hospital as Sharmaine Francis Wright, 40; Clifford Walter Tingle, whose age was unavailable; Kia Jamar Tingle, 10; Tyana Trader, 6; Michael Travon Bacon, 14; and Latoya Shamel Tillman, 22.

All were treated and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman.

Inhaling carbon monoxide displaces oxygen in the blood, and treatment in a hyperbaric chamber is designed to restore the oxygen to a person's body, in effect "detoxifying" the body.

Information about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning is posted on the Baltimore County Fire Department's Web site, and Armacost said the department strongly urges people to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes.

Armacost said that generators should never be used indoors, nor should gas or charcoal grills.

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