Escondido, CA — Two adults and a child fell ill in their Escondido home Thursday in what authorities said was a case of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator in their garage.
A 911 caller — who authorities believed was a family member who had not been able to get in touch with the people who became sick — found the trio in their home on Valleytree Place, off Parktree Lane and south of Rincon Avenue, about 12:10 p.m. One resident was unconscious and the two others were vomiting.
The caller reported hearing a generator running in the garage. Escondido fire Battalion Chief Britt Matthews said the generator was in use because of a power outage.
Firefighters found the trio inside the house. Donning personal protective equipment and breathing apparatus, firefighters got the residents out of the house and started medical treatment.
Before they went back inside the house, firefighters ventilated the house and used a carbon monoxide detector to ensure the conditions inside were safe. Three dogs were rescued and turned over to family members.
Matthews said there were four carbon monoxide detectors in the house, but none were functioning.
Fire officials say generators — which emit carbon monoxide, an odorless and poisonous gas — should be used outdoors and away from from windows, doors, and vent openings. Matthews said poisoning can take minutes to hours depending on various factors, including the concentration of carbon monoxide.
Fire officials recommend testing carbon monoxide alarms once a month and replacing them according to the instructions on the package.