LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) As temperatures continue to drop, people will begin heating their homes with everything from space heaters to fireplaces which makes the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning much bigger.
On Sunday, the risk of CO poisoning became a reality for Kim Howell.
“I was just feeling really groggy. I just wanted to sleep I couldn’t smell anything,” Kim Howell told us.
A few hours after she lit her fireplace, she was woken up by a beep.
“I have an alarm for the carbon monoxide and it went off. I really thought it meant that the alarm wasn’t working so I got up and pulled it out of the wall.”
Little did she know, the fireplace's chute was stuck causing CO to seep into her house.
Howell says since the poisonous gas is odorless, colorless and tasteless, she had no idea she was inhaling it.
“My daughter called me said ‘you don’t sound right’ and I told her I didn’t feel well so she decided to call 911. She saved my life.”
Emergency workers arrived a short time later and evacuated Howell out of her home after she says they found high levels of CO inside.
“They wouldn’t let me come back in and they put the dogs in the garage because the levels were high. It’s my fault, I wasn’t paying attention.”
Firefighters say every household should have at least one carbon monoxide detector.
Officials with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say more than 4,000 Americans are hospitalized each year due to carbon monoxide poisoning.