Two rescued from carbon monoxide in apartment

The Baltimore Sun

Two Edgewater residents who were using a generator for power were rescued yesterday morning from an apartment in which carbon monoxide in the air had reached dangerous levels, according to a spokesman with the Anne Arundel County Fire Department.

A neighbor, William J. Anderson, called 911 about 1:30 a.m. to report that he heard a generator running in an enclosed garage at a nearby home that has been divided into apartments in the 1600 block of Riverdale Drive, said Battalion Chief Matthew Tobia, the spokesman.

"It would've absolutely been a fatal if the neighbor hadn't called," Tobia said.

Fire officials did not release the names of the residents, a 46-year-old woman and a 50-year-old man, but they said the two were found conscious in a bedroom in one of the apartments. The two were taken to Anne Arundel Medical Center for evaluation and were expected to recover, Tobia said.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Web site.

Tobia said a normal carbon monoxide level is below 9 parts per million, and anything above 35 parts per million is "immediately dangerous." A reading of 800 parts per million is "enough to be fatal within one minute," he added.

Using monitors and detectors, Anne Arundel firefighters measured the carbon monoxide levels in the garage where the generator was running at 500 parts per million. Closer to the apartment where the residents were found, which is separated from the garage by a short hallway and two doorways, the carbon monoxide levels had reached 100 parts per million, Tobia said.

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