5 treated for carbon monoxide poisoning at Orange County home, official says

Five people, including a teenage girl and a 6-year-old, were taken to the hospital on Tuesday morning for possible carbon monoxide poisoning, according to Orange County Fire Rescue.

A spokesperson said a 13-year-old girl found the 6-year-old unresponsive at a home on Timberwold Trail in Apopka and contacted 911. As firefighters went inside, their backpacks alerted them to the presence of carbon monoxide.

All five people were taken to the hospital and are expected to survive, the official said.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas and can be deadly ("kills without warning," is how the CDC puts it). It's produced anytime fuel is burned, such as cars or trucks, gas stoves, lanterns, or grills.

Orange County Fire Rescue said it appears that a gas-powered air compressor had been running for several hours in the garage. When firefighters went into the home, they found a "significant" amount of carbon monoxide. 

Signs and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Upset stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Confusion.
  • Symptoms are often described as "flu-like." If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you, the CDC says.

How to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in your home

  • Install a battery-operated carbon monoxide detector and make sure it's working
  • Make sure gas-powered appliances are maintained and inspected every year, including furnaces, water heater, and other oil or coal-burning appliances
  • Do not use portable chemical heaters indoors
  • Never use gas range or oven to heat the house nor a portable gas stove. Never use a generator indoors, in the basement, or garage, or less than 20 feet from a window, door, or vent.

Visit CDC's website for more safety tips.