Roanoke EMS call prompts carbon monoxide detector reminder

First responders remind you to always have a detector in your home

ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – A weekend emergency medical services call in Roanoke is prompting a reminder about carbon monoxide.

Over the weekend, the lives of a local family were saved thanks to Roanoke County Fire & Rescue members.

They were responding to a call about an unresponsive patient when their portable carbon monoxide detector went off.

"Just to try to make sure that maybe it wasn't malfunctioning, they took it outside and it cleared itself once it got in fresh air. So they carried it back in to the residence. It alerted again and that let them know that something was probably going on here. At that point, they started getting people outside," Roanoke County Fire & EMS community outreach coordinator Brian Clingenpeel said.

The reminder is timely as the weather starts to cool down.

"This weekend, it's supposed to get a lot colder. A lot of people might be cranking up furnaces, or maybe it's even auxiliary forms of heat, whether that's a wood stove or a kerosene heater or something like that. Anything that burns produces carbon monoxide," Clingenpeel said.

Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning are similar to the flu.

If you suspect you're suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, get to fresh air immediately and call 911.