Calgary, AB,

Calgary fire crews respond to south east home for carbon monoxide emergency

Just before 2:00 on Tuesday afternoon, Calgary firefighters were called to  a home in the south east for a critical medical intervention. The 9-1-1 caller, a teenager, had come home to find her father collapsed on the floor of their home. He had been out working in the detached garage before coming into the house where he suddenly lost consciousness.

Fire crews arrived and immediately started first aid. Patient care was then transferred to EMS and the patient was transported to hospital.

Suspecting that the patient's condition may be related to the possible presence of carbon monoxide (CO), firefighters used their portable gas detection device to assess the inside of the house.  No carbon monoxide was found to be present. The fire crew then went to the garage where the patient was thought to have been working prior to entering the house. There fire crews found carbon monoxide levels of 252 parts per million (ppm). Firefighters ventilated the building and quickly brought levels down to zero.  It is believed that the CO that built up in the garage may have been from a vehicle that had possibly been running. There was also a furnace in the garage but that is not believed to be the source of the carbon monoxide. It is not know how long the patient had been exposed to the CO present in the garage.

The Calgary Fire Department would like to remind citizens that carbon monoxide is a dangerous gas you cannot see, taste, or smell. It is often called “the invisible killer.” It is created when fossil fuels such as kerosene, gasoline, coal, natural gas, propane, methane, or wood don’t burn completely. CO gas can kill people and pets.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning can result from cars left running in garages or from malfunctioning or improperly vented portable generators, water heaters, clothes dryers, furnaces or other heating appliances.

Headache, nausea, and drowsiness are symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. Exposure to carbon monoxide can be fatal.

Install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms inside your home to provide early warning of carbon monoxide.

For more information on carbon monoxide safety please visit