Elkhart County carbon monoxide exposure prompts safety reminders

Elkhart city’s fire inspector maps out safety tips after nearly two dozen Forest River employees were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning Monday.

“Symptoms you’re gonna have [are] nausea, vomiting, possibly a headache, disorientation, dizziness,” Elkhart City Fire Inspector Aaron Gerber said.

These are some of the symptoms that caused 23 Forest River employees in Middlebury to be hospitalized at Elkhart General Monday.

“You can’t see it,” Gerber said. “You can’t smell it. And it can be present from any appliance that’s a natural gas or propane-burning appliance.”

All of the Forest River patients had been discharged, except for one person, by Monday afternoon, and most had only undergone observation at the hospital, according to an Elkhart General spokeswoman.

Still, Gerber said the incident is still reason to purchase a carbon monoxide alarm and keep check on your appliances.

“If you have any gas burning appliances, they should be serviced at least once a year,” Gerber said.

On top of that, Gerber said installing the alarms throughout your home or workplace is a must.

“They should be located in every living area and outside of every bedroom,” Gerber said.

If you live in the city of Elkhart, you can stop by the fire department to pick up a free carbon monoxide alarm.

Otherwise, you can purchase the alarms for low prices at stores like Home Depot, Lowes and Menards.  

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