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Two North Cornwall families saved from 'silent killer'

By Cornish Guardian  |  Posted: January 23, 2014

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A SECOND North Cornwall family has been saved from the "silent killer" carbon monoxide in just two weeks.

Four people in a house at The Butts, Tintagel, had a lucky escape after their carbon monoxide detector sounded on Friday – and made their way outside where they were treated by ambulance personnel.

Fire fighters from Delabole wearing breathing apparatus used a gas detector to check the home of Roger and Carolyn Edwards who were at home with their son and daughter-in-law.

"I had just come home from work and put some coal on the fire. Within seconds there was a puff of smoke and then the alarm went off – a loud piercing noise.

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"The carbon monoxide had probably come into the room because of a blockage in the chimney," said Mr Edwards, 61.

"I have read up on how dangerous carbon monoxide can be so we got out quickly. Once we calmed down we were ok."

Mr Edwards said he would advise anyone to have a carbon monoxide alarm fitted.

"Ours is a council house and it had an alarm fitted and then a new one was put in when a new fire was installed.

"The ambulance people just checked us over and we were ok, but carbon monoxide has no smell and you don't know when it is in the room. You need to have an alarm fitted, it could be a lifesaver."

Only five days before, another North Cornwall family fell ill after they the inhaled the potentially deadly gas in their home on a Sunday morning last week.

Lee Shelton and his partner Angela Taylor, together with a child, were treated by paramedics after being were woken up at 6am when their carbon monoxide alarm sounded. in their home at West Beckon Close, Morwenstow,

They were feeling ill, made their way out of the house, and were sitting outside in their car.

Crew Manager Mark Pratten from Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said the number of incidents had risen over the past few weeks because of the cold weather causing people to put their heater on.

He said: "Everyone needs to know about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to protect themselves from this silent killer."

He said it was important to fit a carbon monoxide detector in your home and take steps to stay safe.

Tips for avoiding a tragedy are on the Cornwall Fire Brigade website.

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  • kernow19  |  January 24 2014, 6:13AM

    We seem to be hearing stories like this just about every week now. Perhaps in these difficult economic times more people are trying to save money by not having their chimneys swept or appliances serviced as often as they ought to?