With tens of thousands still without power, many are turning to generators and gas stoves to light and heat their homes. But, with that relief comes a hidden danger. Two Oklahomans have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The News On 6â€™s Ashli Sims reports dozens others have been hospitalized.
Generators can be a great way to keep the lights on and heat working, but they need to be outside. Even in a garage, they can generate deadly gases.
Judy Warren has electricity at her antique shop, but not at her house in Collinsville. She, like many of her neighbors, is using a generator to provide what the ice storm took away. On Tuesday, they all learned the machine which can be a life-saver can also be deadly.
"The ambulances and fire trucks and everything came. And he had turned on a generator in his garage,â€ said Judy Warren whose neighbor was killed.
Judy Warren says her neighbor left the generator running and went to sleep. The Owasso fire department says fumes from the generator leaked into his home, killing the 55-year-old man.
In Oklahoma City, authorities believe a generator is to blame for a pregnant 19 year old's death. Her family was given the generator by a friend.
â€Very upsetting and disturbing both that something like this to someone you know happens and you were just trying to help,â€ said Richard Cox.
Firefighters say it's just not safe to keep generators inside your home or in your garage.
"That CO will mitigate through the walls, through the cracks, and get into your home and eventually build up. The only place it's safe to use is outside of any structure,â€ said Tulsa Fire Captain Larry Bowles.
EMSA reports they've treated 56 patients for carbon monoxide poisoning since Monday night. And it's not just generators that release the colorless, odorless, deadly gas. Paramedics took six people to the hospital from a Tulsa home. EMSA says they were running their gas stove to keep warm.
Judy Warren knows what it's like to lose a neighbor and a friend to carbon monoxide. And, she has a simple message for everyone.
"Just crack a window. Just crack a window. Don't put generators in your garage,â€ said Judy Warren whose neighbor died from CO poisoning.
You can invest in a carbon monoxide detector to monitor the air in your home. Early signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, nausea and vomiting. If you're experiencing those symptoms get some fresh air and call 911.
Watch the video: Dangers Of Carbon Monoxide Gas