Posted at: 10/02/2012 5:48 PM
| Updated at: 10/02/2012 9:41 PM
By: Beth Wurtmann
GLENVILLE - Red tape on the doors of the home on Swaggertown Road read 'Danger Do Not Enter' Tuesday, the day after fire fighters said a 911 medical call came in, reporting that two elderly residents could not walk.
Rescue crews arrived to the smell of gas from an oil furnace.
"There was the smell of bad combustion of an oil furnace, he smelled combustion from an oil furnace in the house and called for a gas meter," said Doug Lauser, Fire Chief of the Thomas Corners Fire Department.
Lauser said a gas meter found a carbon monoxide level of 300 ppm inside, which he said can be fatal if inhaled over four to five hours.
Alexander Smolenski was airlifted to Westchester Medical Hospital. His wife Barbara, transported to Ellis Hospital for treatment. Fire official said both are in their 80s.
"Just goes to show it's very important to have a carbon monoxide detector in the house and check the batteries to make sure they're functional," Lauser said.
State Fire Prevention and Control experts say carbon monoxide detectors like these are required in home by law.
"This one is a stand alone carbon monoxide alarm. It plugs into the wall and has a battery back up," said Dave Bastiani, Fire Protection Specialist with the NYS Office of Fire Prevention and Control.
Bastiani showed NewsChannel 13 several examples of detectors, and said it's especially important for residents to make sure they're working at the beginning of the home heating system is the time to make sure they're working.
"As people are turning their heating systems on for the year if they've been off all summer are potential for carbon monoxide to be created because they are being used," Bastiani said.
As of Tuesday night, fire crews had no update on the condition of the couple in Glenville, but said there was no carbon monoxide detector in their home.
Older heating systems should be checked once a year, according to Henry DeVoe at Rotterdam Heating & Air Conditioning.
"The biggest thing is to maintain the equipment. I get calls and their stuff hasn't been looked at for years. And that's going to raise the risk," DeVoe said.