December 2, 2011
At 10:25 am on December 2, 2011, Portland Fire & Rescue responded to a medical call for a man who was reported to be unconscious at a house located at 4734 S.E. 48th. When firefighters from Portland's Woodstock Fire Station 25 arrived on scene, they were met by two workers feeling ill and complaining of being dizzy. The workers said they were in the house with a gasoline operated concrete cutting saw that was being used in a remodeling project in an interior bathroom.
Firefighters observed the scene and noticed that only a small window was open. They began to test the patients for carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighters found high levels of carbon monoxide present in the house. Portland paramedic firefighters started high flows of oxygen to the patients and helped transport them to Providence Portland Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.
Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, charcoal, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, kerosene and methane) burn incompletely. Products and equipment powered by internal combustion engines such as portable generators, cars, lawn mowers, and power washers also produce carbon monoxide. Fumes are dangerous for anyone and can be deadly. Some people are more susceptible to the effects of carbon monoxide including unborn babies, infants, older adults, people who smoke, and people who have chronic heart disease, anemia, or respiratory problems.
Portland Fire & Rescue encourages citizens to install at least one CO alarm with an audible warning signal outside each individual bedroom. The only way to know if you are being exposed to carbon monoxide is by using a detector. Visit
http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/CommEd_CO_Program.shtml for additional information on carbon monoxide.