Four people, including two rescuers, were sickened by carbon monoxide this morning in South Philadelphia.
For the second time this morning, Philadelphia rescue crews have rushed people to the hospital after they were sickened by carbon monoxide. At one home, two emergency workers were also overcome and had to be hospitalized.
The first incident was in the 700 block of South Hutchinson Street in South Philadelphia. Just before 5 a.m., firefighters found two men inside a home. Both were unresponsive. The carbon monoxide threat was so bad there, two of the firefighters had to also be hospitalized and neighbors were asked to open up their windows.
In the city's Lawncrest section, around 7:15 a.m. four more people were taken to the hospital to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.
Carbon monoxide [CO] is so dangerous because it is a colorless, odorless gas. CO is found in combustion fumes produced by motor vehicles, small gasoline engines, stoves, lanterns, burning charcoal and wood and gas ranges and heating systems, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
According to the CDC, the most common symptoms are headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
"Unless suspected, CO poisoning can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms mimic other illnesses. People who are sleeping or intoxicated can die from CO poisoning before ever experiencing symptoms," the CDC website warns.
Carbon monoxide kills people when too much of the gas replaces the oxygen in their blood.
Here are some tips to prevent CO poisoning from the CDC:
Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.
You can find more information on prevention on the CDC website.