Carbon monoxide sickens 4 in Overland Park - KCTV5

UPDATE

Carbon monoxide sickens 4 in Overland Park

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Firefighters responded to reports of carbon monoxide leak at 7:30 a.m. to a home in the 8000 block West 121st Terrace. (Sandra Olivas/KCTV5) Firefighters responded to reports of carbon monoxide leak at 7:30 a.m. to a home in the 8000 block West 121st Terrace. (Sandra Olivas/KCTV5)
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

Four people were rushed to area hospitals Wednesday morning to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Family members say they are expected to be OK in part due to a teen doing his best to save his loved ones and a good Samaritan.

Firefighters responded to reports of carbon monoxide leak at 7:30 a.m. to a home in the 8000 block or West 121st Terrace.

Overland Park police said an adult and the teen boy drove their SUV to the store Tuesday night. When they got home and parked it in the garage, it appears the driver forgot to turn off the vehicle, and they went to bed.

A passerby discovered the teenage boy lying on the grass at 7:30 a.m. suffering from carbon monoxide exposure.

The driver stopped to help him and was told there were two adult women and a 9-year-old boy still in the house.

David Kabala said he was driving to work when he saw the boy lying face down in the grass outside his home.

"Obviously I knew something was very wrong. He was just in shorts and T-shirt, and he was just lying there," Kabala said.

He could have never imagined the teen's reaction when he asked if he was OK.

"He was very distraught. He thought his family was hurt and was saying that they may be dead," he said. "I was scared for him and his family."

The disoriented teen told Kabala that he woke up and tried to rouse them and get help, but was too weak and exhausted. The boy managed to get outside where he collapsed.

Of the four who were sickened, two were in critical condition Wednesday while two were in serious condition.

Carbon monoxide levels were more than 40 times higher than safe exposure levels, firefighters said.

Police said they have interviewed some of the victims and do not believe it was intentional.

"At this point, it looks like a tragic accident, vehicle parked in garage, running possibly overnight. Looking into that. Looks like an accident," Officer Gary Mason said. "It is rare. Most people are conscious and turn the car off. But it can certainly happen and it's a good reminder for all us. Certainly be aware especially with these new hybrid vehicles with push button start. Very easy and quiet not to notice if they are on or off. And it could happen, and it does happen."

Investigators said they did not find a single carbon monoxide detector inside the house that would have alerted the family about the problem.

Fire investigators say it is important for homeowners to have carbon monoxide monitors to detect problems as well any leaks that could happen when turning on furnaces for the season.

While authorities credit Kabala for helping save their lives, he just remains concerned for the four family members.

"I am so sad for this family. It's really tragic," he said. "I hope the best for them."

For more information about carbon monoxide safety, visit the fire page at www.opkansas.org.

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