Pocomoke Residential Carbon Monoxide Incident

On Wednesday, March 7, 2018 the Worcester County Fire Marshal's Office was notified by the owner of 809 Market St, Pocomoke of a potential carbon monoxide problem.  Through the investigation it was discovered the owner and other family members began to feel ill and drove themselves to an immediate care center.  Doctors at the immediate care center diagansosed the family's condition as carbon monoxide poisoning.  The family was transported to John Hopkins in Baltimore for treatment within a hyperbolic chamber.  The investigaiton revealed several problems with the home's heating system.  Fire Marshal's worked with and monitored the repairs performed by the heating contractor.

Carbon Monoxide Information: Source NFPA

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

  • The dangers of CO exposure depend on a number of variables, including the victim's health and activity level. Infants, pregnant women, and people with physical conditions that limit their body's ability to use oxygen (i.e. emphysema, asthma, heart disease) can be more severely affected by lower concentrations of CO than healthy adults would be.
  • A person can be poisoned by a small amount of CO over a longer period of time or by a large amount of CO over a shorter amount of time.
  • In 2010, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 80,100 non-fire CO incidents in which carbon monoxide was found, or an average of nine such calls per hour.  The number of incidents increased 96 % from 40,900 incidents reported in 2003. This increase is most likely due to the increased use of CO detectors, which alert people to the presence of CO.