Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — LuAnn recounted, she had a headache the night before and there was an annoying smell. Gary looked around and suspected a mouse got caught in the duct. He would look at it in the morning.
“I couln’t really sleep,” LuAnn said. “I tossed and turned, when Brooke got me up, I wasn’t really asleep ... I thought she had a severe flu going on and I didn’t feel 100 percent myself.”
When Gary collapsed, LuAnn suspected a gas leak and knew the family had to get outside. They opened the front door and as soon as some air got in, it helped a little bit.
According to NYSEG report, the carbon monoxide
registered 440 parts per million at the door and over 900 parts per million in the basement. A recording of 200 ppm can be fatal.
“I woke up with a headache and I asked my mom if she could get me some medicine so we walked down the stairs,” Brooke said. “She was just getting the medicine when I fell to the ground.”
NYSEG found that the exhaust from the boiler was plugged. Carbon monoxide is odorless and LuAnn, who had a nagging headache, likely smelled the exhaust.
Gary had checked the carbon monoxide alarm a few weeks earlier and found it was “shot.” He bought a new one, but did not install it immediately.
“He never got a chance to put it up,” LuAnn said. “This was such a life lesson. Gary’s always been about changing lights and batteries, the smoke alarm. For some reason, this just went by the wayside. We are so lucky we’re not dead.”
The Olsons installed a new boiler, at a cost of $5,600 — with a $1,000 rebate.
“If we can just alert people. That’s all we really want,” LuAnn said. “You think it’s not going to happen to you and it does. This is the stuff you read about, but it never happens to you.”