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Carbon Monoxide Sends 4 to Hospitals in Harford County

Improper generator use threatened citizen safety from Joppatowne to Edgewood.

Several people in Harford County were evaluated for carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday, according to a statement from Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company (JMVFC).

A 9-year-old and two adults were taken from Joppatowne to Franklin Square Hospital for carbon monoxide exposure, said JMVFC.

Alerted by a residential carbon monoxide detector on the 700 block of Jonathan Drive on Tuesday at 9:18 p.m., firefighters found the gas present at levels that would be deadly after eight hours of exposure.

A generator under a deck was the cause, according to JMVFC, which reported a basement window was cracked to feed power cords to the generator.

“Because the generator was under the deck, it was not adequately ventilated, causing the wind to blow the fumes into the house,” according to a JMVFC press release.

The three people who had been inside the Joppatowne residence were evaluated at Franklin Square Hospital and were in stable condition as of Wednesday, said JMVFC.

The same day, firefighters evaluated multiple people for another incident involving a generator, this time at a business.

Employees from a Rent-a-Center in Edgewood were evacuated around 2:30 p.m. after a man who worked there sought medical treatment at Harford Memorial Hospital in Havre de Grace. He reported flu-like symptoms and tests showed unusually high levels of carbon monoxide in his system, according to the JMVFC. The man said he had been at the Rent-a-Center, where he worked, before coming to the hospital.

Firefighters traveled to the Rent-a-Center and found a portable generator had been placed outside the building at 1400 Pulaski Highway in Edgewood that was not far enough from the door, according to a press release from JMVFC.

"These are two examples where the silent killer was caught in time," according to the release from JMVFC. "The JMVFC cannot stress enough the importance of working carbon monoxide detectors and working smoke detectors in the home."

A statement issued Wednesday from Harford County's office of the county executive said that "improper use of generators...[is] one of the major concerns of Harford County fire and EMS personnel."

Generators should be 50 feet from the door, according to Susquehanna Hose Company Chief Scott Hurst.

On Tuesday night, the Hose Company in Havre de Grace also responded to a carbon monoxide call, Hurst said.

"It was due to a faulty detector from the power being out," Hurst said of the incident on Bayview Drive. He encouraged people using generators to have a battery backup for their carbon monoxide detectors that would kick in if power outages occur.

Damon Presberry November 02, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Considering I'm the man that is mentioned I can not give her a pass and will not for putting me in this danger. Or for the way I have been feeling since. As soon as I walked in I made her aware of the fumes and danger it could put us all in. I was then told "This is what we always do and we are going to do so sit down and go to work". After working a few hours I became nauseated and had a headache. I told her I was going to get some fresh air. Upon coming back in I was told "if you can't work under these conditions (no power, heat, and fumes) you need to go home and I'm not paying u for the rest of the day. No more needs to be said but no...no passes given on poor judgment.
muse November 02, 2012 at 03:23 PM
wow. the manager needs a good bitch slap. I am available.
Just curious November 02, 2012 at 04:23 PM
The problem with society is no one wants to take the blame. Although the manager should be in trouble, who in the right mind would stay in those conditions? If you are educated, why would you put your life in danger and stay? to prove a point?? Everyone has a boss, why not call the district manager? Why not call the the FD anonymously?
Damon Presberry November 02, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I left which is why I'm sitting here responding to u. But no need to do anything anonymous. I'm a straight up person. The district manager would of not done much. They all stick together. When I called corporate to complain and tell what happen the only response I got was tell your manager to file a workers comp claim. No sorry this happened or nothing.
K Johnson November 02, 2012 at 09:15 PM
Unfortunately, these employees are reprimanded any time they speak up and are made to feel like their concerns are not valid or even cared to be heard. I did not even find it, as shocking as it should be, that RAC- from the manager, to district manager or even all the way up to corporate -who were informed has yet to issue any type of apology or express concern for the employee's health. Just bad management all the way from the top and down.

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