Six Gladstone residents suffer from carbon monoxide poisoning
Six adults reportedly suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning inside a Gladstone residence on Feb. 16.
Four of the six residents were sent to the hospital while two received treatment at the scene. Clackamas County officials later in the day reported that four people died of carbon monoxide poisoning during the ice storm, but the six in Gladstone survived the incident.
Clackamas firefighters, assisting Gladstone Fire crews on East Fairfield Street, reported the residents were using a generator inside for heat, leading to the poisoning.
KOIN 6 News' Elise Haas spoke to Wyatt Ouchida, who lives across the street. He said he and his neighbors have been without power since Friday.
"My line has been ripped right out of the pole," he said. "I haven't seen a crew out here yet — and I don't expect to see one either. There's just too many before us."
Everyone's trying to stay warm as electric crews are swamped with countless downed lines in Clackamas County and beyond.
"Most people have been using propane heaters, a lot of people have been using generators," Ouchida said. "We just don't use our wood stoves too often."
Clackamas Fire officials warned that carbon monoxide is a silent killer, advising the public to be sure to have a working carbon monoxide detector while waiting for power to be restored.
Clackamas Fire spokesman Brandon Paxton knows the struggle of this ice storm all too well. Trees fell on his home, too. But, he stresses the dangers of alternative heat sources.
"The hard part about carbon monoxide — it's odorless, tasteless, you don't know it's in the house — even if you had a window open or a fan running, it could overwhelm the small ventilation system you have in place," he said.
Paxton says he understands the need to stay warm, urges people to do so safely.
"The best thing to do is to have that generator completely outside your home and around 15 feet away and then run a properly rated extension cord into your home to power up those space heaters or whatever other device you're using."
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