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Crowley Fire Department respond to CO emergencies, urges residents to use generators safely

Portable Generator
Posted at 12:31 PM, Aug 28, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-28 13:31:13-04

The Crowley Fire Department is urging residents using generators to do so safely.

Since Hurricane Laura pushed through southwest Louisiana, the Crowley Fire Department has responded to four Carbon Monoxide emergencies. They say that all were caused from generators running to power homes.

Fire Chief Chad Monceaux is urging residents to make sure that if they have a generator, think of the placement. It is also important to have a Carbon Monoxide detector inside the home.

Monceaux says that the first incident was caused after homeowners placed a generator on a screened in porch at the back door of their home. He says the generator was placed there ultimately to prevent it from being stolen. T

The generator caused the home to fill with Carbon Monoxide. A CO Derector went off and the fire department was alerted.

"This started our fears of thinking how many people may be doing the same thing but doesn’t have a CO Detector, we began to be terrified for the citizens in our city," Monceaux said.

Firefighters say the second incident was caused by a fully automated-whole home-natural gas generator. Monceaux says that the generator has been on this home for a few years and automatically starts each month to be tested and ready to be used in a situation like this hurricane. In this incident Monceaux says the generator had been running for 24 hours when it finally produced enough CO to become life threatening to those in the home.

"It’s placement and direction of the exhaust combined with an add on to the home created an atmosphere which could have become deadly for a family of 8!" he said.

The third incident was a similar situation. The generator was next to the home directly under the eves where there was a vent which is meant to allow the attic to “breathe”. The opening in the wall of the home, Monceaux said, allowed the CO being produced by the generator to enter the attic and spread throughout the home.

The home had CO detector which alerted the occupants.

The fourth incident occurred as Monceaux and his crews were heading back to the fire station. A generator was spotted in a garage. The homeowners according to Monceaux has doors and attic access open for ventilation which caused CO levels in the home to be deadly. Luckily, he reports that no one has harmed.

"Thank God he answered and we were able to take care of the situation for the rest of the night. The levels of CO in this home were a at deadly and thankfully we won’t be responding to this home tomorrow to retrieve bodies," he said.

Those with questions about generators can call the Crowley Fire Department.

In Broussard, one man lost his home after a fire caused by a generator, click her to read more.

From Our Archives: This story on generators and CO levels was reported following Hurricane Barry in 2019. Read that here.

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