Omaha, NE – Omaha fire investigators say a generator left running in the garage sent five people to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. Family friends tell our crews everyone will be “OK.”

First responders found the family at a home near 8th and Cedar Streets just after 5 a.m. Tuesday morning. It comes less than two months after carbon monoxide killed three people in a Millard home.

“Anything above 100 is where right away you’re going to start feeling nauseated, weak, just those flu-like symptoms,” Fitzpatrick said.

Omaha Fire says the family from 8th and Cedar — rushed to UNMC — was exposed to 500 parts per million.

Fitzpatrick says the best defense is a carbon monoxide detector. And if you can’t afford one, there’s a solution.

“If there’s a financial need that people need a detector, the Omaha Fire Department will come and install a combination smoke and CO detector for you for free,” he said.

“But if you’re going to have a generator we want to make sure that it’s outside the home, probably a good five to ten feet outside, so the exhaust doesn’t go inside the house,” he said.

Another common cause of CO poisoning, like the tragedy in Millard, is leaving a car running in a closed garage. Fitzpatrick warns that will be especially important as we head toward the winter months when people want to warm their cars.

Heating systems not running properly can cause carbon monoxide leaks.

So, Fitzpatrick says this time of year is important to schedule an appointment with a technician and get your furnace checked.

If you have a financial need for a carbon monoxide detector, Omaha Fire will install one for free.