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Lucky to be alive as open fire produces fatal amounts of carbon monoxide
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A 27 year old woman is ‘very, very fortunate to be alive’ according to the Fire and Rescue Services after she was overcome by carbon monoxide fumes at her house in Ballycastle earlier this week.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible and odourless gas produced when heating and cooking appliances which use solid fuel including wood, coal, gas and oil do not burn completely. The gas can build up due to blocked or poor ventilation and leaks can occur if appliances are not maintained properly. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include, nausea, tiredness, headaches and loss of consciousness. Severe poisoning can lead to brain injury and death.
It is thought that a plastic bag was put on her open fire which blocked the chimney. The room had filled with smoke earlier in the evening however the woman and her friends thought the blockage was cleared.
The woman then lay down on the sofa for possibly two hours, breathing in carbon monoxide before she was found unconscious by her friends at approximately 10pm.
She was taken to hospital suffering from the effects of breathing in smoke whilst the Fire Service measured the carbon monoxide readings as fatally high.
This story reports a lucky escape; however, too often the ending is one of tragedy. The Fire Service use stories like this to urge people to take extra care when using any heating or cooking appliances which burn solid fuels, particularly during the Winter months. Tis’ the season to be jolly, let’s keep it that way!
If you have suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning and would like to arrange a discussion with an industrial disease solicitor click here or call us free on 0800 0384 384. We are available to take your call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week.
0800 840 4929