Three people have been treated for carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning in two separate incidents in Cornwall.
On Thursday evening an elderly couple were taken to hospital after being found unconscious by a neighbour at their home in Rope Walk, Mount Hawke.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service said a blocked flue in the solid fuel heating system caused a build up of the gas.
In Bodmin, a man in 50s was rescued after an alarm detected traces of carbon monoxide at his home.
The fire service said the man had a “very lucky escape” because a CO alarm at his home in St George’s Crescent was linked to Cornwall Lifeline.
The service provides round-the-clock monitoring for about 12,000 vulnerable people in Cornwall, the Isles of Scilly and parts of Devon.
The man, who was suffering from breathing difficulties, was treated for breathing difficulties.
“The Lifeline system really did provide a life line – had the alarm not been in place, the man could have been very seriously ill,” fire group manager Mark Blatchford said.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas produced by the incomplete burning of carbon-based fuels including gas, oil, wood and coal.
Inhaling the gas reduces the blood’s ability to carry oxygen and can be fatal.
- Carbon monoxide is released when a fuel burns with insufficient oxygen – incomplete combustion
- Inhaling it reduces blood’s ability to carry oxygen, leaving organs and cells starved of oxygen
- Humans cannot smell, see or hear the poisonous gas – which is why it is dubbed a silent killer
- Carbon monoxide poisoning kills about 50 people in the UK every year
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