CO poisoning sends 2 in Bend to hospital

Furnace the cause; firefighters offer safety warnings

BEND, Ore. - A poorly functioning natural gas furnace sent two Bend renters to the hospital with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, fire officials said Wednesday, urging residents to install detection alarms to prevent possible tragedy.

Bend fire crews responded to a rental property in the 700 block of NW Newport Ave. around 5 p.m. Tuesday after the St. Charles-Bend Emergency Department contacted Deschutes County 911 to describe two patients that may have symptoms of CO poisoning, said fire Capt. Karl Findling.

Crews arrived at the home to find a poorly functioning natural gas furnace, Findling said. A Cascade Natural Gas response team assisted n the investigation, he added.

The Bend Fire Department is urging all homeowners with gas-burning appliances, either natural gas or propane, to have a carbon monoxide detector in their home.

CO is a colorless, odorless gas that kills silently, Findling said. Symptoms start with confusion, nausea and headache, and if occurring during sleep can be deadly.

If an alarm sounds, firefighters say to call 911 to investigate a possible carbon monoxide emergency, evacuate the home and let experts evaluate the air inside to determine CO levels and the source of the problem, he added.

Findling also said all heating appliances should be serviced regularly, with smoke alarms and CO detectors on each level of your home, at a minimum.

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