Carbon monoxide fumes sicken family in Upper Marlboro

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. (AP/ ABC7) - Prince George's County fire officials say residents of two homes were sickened by fumes caused by generators and a fire was started in a third home by improper use of a generator.

Department spokesman Mark Brady says just after 9 a.m. Sunday, firefighters went to a home in the 12300 block of Putters Court and removed a family of five that were sickened by carbon monoxide fumes.

Brady says when the family woke up they were experiencing headaches. Fire officials determined the cause to be a generator placed too close to a fireplace vent on the house's exterior wall.

Fortunately, the generator ran out of fuel during the night and stopped running, Brady says.

The five were taken to hospitals.

Brady adds that Saturday night, a resident put a generator on a front porch near an open door and CO fumes sickened the resident, who was treated by paramedics.

Also Saturday night, a generator placed too close to a house ignited a fire. There were no injuries, but damage was extensive.

The fire department offers these tips for those using generators:

- Place the generator outside in a well-ventilated area that is away from combustible items, including your home. The generator should be away from all doors, windows and vent openings, fire officials say.

- Don't use your generator in an attached garage.

- Place generator so that the exhaust fumes won't enter the home.

- Install carbon monoxide detectors in your home.

- Turn off and allow generator to cool before you refuel it.

- Generators are not permitted on the balconies of apartments or condos.