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23 Treated for Carbon Monoxide Exposure in Avon

One Avon multi-family home complex has been determined to have an unknown source of carbon monoxide, causing 23 people from four families to be treated for carbon monoxide exposure at Vail Valley Medical Center today. Three individuals initially showed signs of poisoning, followed by 20 others. Symptoms include dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting and headaches. No major injuries were sustained.

The source of the carbon monoxide was investigated but no source could be determined. A thorough inspection was conducted by the Avon Building Official and no issues were found with any gas fueled appliances. At this time the source of the carbon monoxide is undetermined and carbon monoxide detectors will be installed in the house by the end of the day.

Eagle River Fire Protection District, Eagle County Paramedic Services, Red Cross, Eagle County Emergency Management, Avon Police Department and Town of Avon Building Official responded to the scene.

About Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
According to Eagle County Environmental Health Department, carbon monoxide is produced whenever any fuel such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal is burned. If appliances are not working properly or are used incorrectly, exposure to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide can result. Improperly vented furnaces, boilers and water heaters are a common source of indoor carbon monoxide problems. Carbon monoxide detectors are beneficial, and can be purchased at your local hardware store. The proper use and maintenance of your fuel-burning appliances will lower your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), more than 400 people die in the U. S. from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning annually.

CDC Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Prevention Tips
•    Never use a gas range or oven to heat a home.
•    Never leave the motor running in a vehicle parked in an enclosed or partially enclosed space, such as a garage.
•    Never run a motor vehicle, generator, pressure washer or any gasoline-powered engine outside an open window, door or vent where exhaust can vent into an enclosed area.
•    Never run a generator, pressure washer or any gasoline-powered engine inside a basement, garage or other enclosed structure, even if the doors or windows are open, unless the equipment is professionally installed and vented. Keep vents and flues free of debris, especially if winds are high. Flying debris can block ventilation lines.
•    Never use a charcoal grill, hibachi, lantern or portable camping stove inside a home, tent or camper.
•    If conditions are too hot or too cold, seek shelter with friends or at a community shelter.
•    If carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected, consult a health care professional right away.

Contacts:
Gail McFarland | Eagle River Fire Protection District | gmcfarland@eagleriverfire.org | (970) 977-1021
Lindsay Hogan | Vail Valley Medical Center | lindsay.hogan@vvmc.com | (970) 376-7564

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