A grandmother and a young girl were hospitalized in New Jersey after getting sickened from carbon monoxide poisoning stemming from a generator used after losing power, police said.
The 61-year-old woman called police Tuesday after she found herself having difficulty breathing and was fatigued, according to Patch. She told them she was at her home in South Brunswick, and believed she may be having a heart attack, Patch reported.
When police arrived at the Robin Road residence, they found a generator was running right outside the home's backdoor, and fumes were able to come in through an open window. The officers got the woman and child out of the house, and notified the fire department.
Kendall Park Fire Chief Chris Perez told Patch that when crews arrived, they found that the generator had been running — and pouring the noxious gas into the home — for eight hours. He said the carbon monoxide levels were 350 parts per million, calling it a "lethal amount."
"You will start to feel disoriented and sick right away. The problem is most people think they are just tired. It will kill you," Perez told Patch. A police official also said that had officers waiting inside the home, they would've been overcome by the carbon monoxide as well.
"When my crew got there, the levels of carbon monoxide were 350 parts per million, and the generator had been running for approximately eight hours," Perez said, adding that "350 is a lethal amount of carbon monoxide. You will start to feel disoriented and sick right away. The problem is most people think they are just tired. If they had just gone to bed thinking nothing was wrong, they would have passed away by Wednesday morning."
The woman and her 9-year-old granddaughter were hospitalized and kept overnight. Their conditions Wednesday were not clear.
Perez stressed that generators need to be at least 10-15 away from homes, and not in an enclosed space in order to prevent poisoning accidents.
“People may be using a generator for the first time and not be familiar with the safety measures," Perez said. "Make sure the generator is at least ten to fifteen feet away from your home, in a well-ventilated space and not running in an enclosed area of any kind. A lot of people think they can put it right outside their back door or a window, but it needs to be ten to fifteen feet away."
According to Perez, it was the second incident involving a generator on Tuesday -- in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaias. Firefighters responded to a home on Blue Jay Court, this time for the carbon monoxide detector going off.