Fire officials determine cause of carbon monoxide leak that sickened Woodbridge family

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Five adults and five children were sickened by carbon monoxide Tuesday morning at their home on Neabsco Creek Court in Woodbridge.

Fire crews were dispatched to the home at 10:03 a.m., where they found 10 people “feeling various degrees of sickness,” Prince William County fire and rescue Assistant Chief Matt Smolsky said in a release.

“Based on the situation presented, crews began to take air readings. It was determined the air within the home contained high levels of carbon monoxide,” he said.

The patients, all family members who live in the home, were taken to a hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Washington Gas responded to the scene and secured the building. No other homes were impacted, Smolsky said.

Building officials determined the cause of the incident was carbon monoxide escaping from a broken furnace pipe in the basement, he said. All homeowners are strongly encouraged to have their gas appliances regularly inspected by a trained professional.

The Prince William County Fire Marshal’s Office also strongly recommends the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in all residences. Fire officials also offered the following tips for carbon monoxide safety:

  • All gas-fired appliances and furnaces also need regular inspection for proper operation.
  • Fireplaces need to be inspected for proper operation and ventilation.
  • Do not operate a generator inside your home or garage.
  • Be familiar with all appliance operating instructions, as many appliances require varying degrees of ventilation to operate safely.
  • Kerosene heaters often require outside ventilation.
  • In addition, homes should also be equipped with smoke detectors to ensure safety from fire.
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