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Bethesda family rushed to hospital after carbon monoxide exposure

Bethesda family rushed to hospital after carbon monoxide exposure. (ABC7)

A Bethesda family was rushed to the hospital Wednesday morning after exposure to carbon monoxide.

Around 10:30 a.m., Montgomery County firefighters said a woman came home to find two older family members – believed to be her parents – in need of help. One of them was unconscious.

The fire department said a 9-1-1 dispatcher guided a woman through CPR after she reported a medical emergency at the home on the 10000 block of Parkwood Drive in Bethesda. The home is currently being renovated.

Inside, a man and woman were both found sick. The man was not conscious.

It is unclear if the 9-1-1 caller went to the home out of concern or just happened to discover the problem, but firefighters believe her intervention was probably life-saving. Arriving on scene, they immediately detected high levels of carbon monoxide.

“One of the symptoms [of carbon monoxide poisoning] of course, your thought process is not clear, and so by that time, it might be too late to recognize what the problem is," Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service spokesperson Pete Piringer said.

For neighbors, this emergency just a few doors down was a wake-up call about the need for carbon monoxide detectors.

“We've been in our house for 33 years so yeah we never had them installed but it is something to think about,” Cathy Lively said.

Another neighbor Ruth Otte said, “We're all going to spread the word and get on it right away to make sure that we're protected.”

Washington Gas determined the source of the leak was a furnace on the lower level of the home where these victims were found.

“You're exposed to your furnace maybe misfiring all night long giving off high levels of carbon monoxide, you're exposed to, breathing it in,” Piringer said.

Piringer said the man suffered life-threatening injuries, the woman was in serious condition and the 9-1-1 caller believed to be their adult daughter was also sent to the hospital as a precaution.

HAZMAT teams were called in and the house was ventilated.

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