Carbon monoxide detectors should be mounted at knee height. Never position a carbon monoxide detector on the ceiling as you would a smoke detector, because carbon monoxide blends with the air in your home and does not rise. (Metro Creative photo)

Carbon monoxide detectors should be mounted at knee height. Never position a carbon monoxide detector on the ceiling as you would a smoke detector, because carbon monoxide blends with the air in your home and does not rise. (Metro Creative photo)

The Silent Killer

To the Editor,

Vickie and I are dead sure that carbon monoxide (CO) in high concentration can kill you — and it very nearly succeeded.

On the late morning of Dec. 20, atmospheric conditions, a wood burning stove with outside window ventilation and combo smoke and CO detectors mounted on the ceiling proved nearly fatal for us both.

We were both dizzy, lightheaded and sick, but because it was mid day, not the middle of the night, we were both able to make our way out of the house, along with our cat, into fresh air. We called 911 and our neighbour and Blackpool fire chief Mike Savage was here in minutes, accompanied by his daughter, Mel, who is also a Blackpool firefighter.

Both the ambulance and fire department arrived, we were whisked off to Helmcken hospital and the fire persons tested and evacuated the contaminated air from our house while both Vickie and I were placed on oxygen (along with the cat) in the ambulance and at the hospital.

Because our hospital did not have the apparatus to test CO levels in our blood, we had to be transported by ambulance to Kamloops. Oh, our cat “Monet” was kindly returned to our house by Mike and Mel Savage as it was now safe to inhabit.

We remained in a separate room in Kamloops hospital until our blood CO tests were done and our CO levels had dropped. We also had a COVID-19 test which came back negative for us both. We were finally released about 4:00 a.m. Monday morning of Dec. 21 and returned home by medi-van, arriving at about 5:30 a.m.

Key lessons: CO detectors should be mounted down low as CO is heavier then air; Air intakes for a wood stove should be located away from the base of the chimney to avoid a down draft feedback; the proper place for a smoke detector is, of course, on the ceiling.

Vickie and I are pleased to be able to wish you all a Happy New Year.

Vickie and Wes Morden,

Blackpool, B.C.

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