14 people hospitalized in New Haven following carbon monoxide exposure; Westport firefighters share prevention tips

Officials said 14 people were hospitalized on Wednesday after being exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide at a Yale University-owned building in New Haven.

Tom Krosnowski and Robyn Karashik

Jan 18, 2024, 10:17 PM

Updated 126 days ago

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Officials said 14 people were hospitalized on Wednesday after being exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide at a Yale University-owned building in New Haven.
News 12 Connecticut’s Tom Krosnowski found that this was far from an isolated incident, especially in such cold conditions.
New Haven officials said this carbon monoxide emergency could have been a much larger disaster. Unfortunately, it isn’t an uncommon call this time of year across Connecticut.
“We just had three families that were temporarily displaced because of a malfunctioning furnace, which created a carbon monoxide condition throughout a three-story building,” said Deputy Chief Nick Marsan, of the Westport Fire Department.
In this case, carbon monoxide formed when fossil fuels were burned improperly. The source was a propane-fueled saw used by construction workers without the proper ventilation. The carbon monoxide levels reached 10 times the amount that would trigger an alarm.
“They should have a working carbon monoxide detector in every level of their home, including their basement,” said Marsan. “They should also have them at least 10 feet from any doorways leading to sleeping areas.”
Since, you can’t see or smell carbon monoxide in your home the symptoms are often mistaken for the flu. If you don’t have a working detector in your home, firefighters say it’s often too late.
“By the time that you come down with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, you may not have the wherewithal to realize that it’s because of carbon monoxide,” said Marsan.
Even in the frigid temperatures of winter, it’s crucial to double check before you reach for that remote starter.
“When you idle your vehicle outside, make sure that your exhaust has plenty of room to move the air, the way it’s supposed to,” said Marsan. “Never idle your vehicle inside your garage when you warm up. You’ll have to be cold for a few minutes, but do it in a safe way.”


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