Family Narrowly Survives Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Man Wakes Up Early for Work, Realizes Something's Wrong

Emergency crews found several people unconscious in a building on Chicago's North Side early Thursday.

Seven people, including two children, who lived in an apartment in the building were overcome by carbon monoxide, but are recovering.  ABC7 reported that a 21-year-old man who lives in the apartment woke up early for work and felt sick.  When he tried to wake other family members, he realized something was wrong, and asked his sister to call 911.  But when she was dialing, she collapsed and hit her head on a wall.

Emergency crews were called and quickly arrived at the scene.  They got the family members out and tested the air, finding CO levels were at 500 parts per million - a potentially fatal level.

"Had the individual not woken up, we probably would have had seven fatalities right now," a firefighter said at the scene.

Police blocked traffic in a three-block area around the building and city buses were temporarily rerouted in that Albany Park neighborhood.  The scene was cleared early Thursday afternoon.

An EMS Plan 1, which automatically sends five ambulances to the scene, was called about 6:20 a.m. for a reported gas leak at 3652 W. Lawrence Ave., Fire Media Affairs spokesman Larry Langford said.

The building is residential and commercial, with a restaurant located on the ground level.

Emergency crews said the apartment had CO detectors, but the batteries were dead. 

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