Warning as family saved after home found filled with carbon monoxide

A warning was issued after a family nearly died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Nicola Savory, her partner Lee Tonks, and their sons James, five, and Harry, two, were hours away from tragedy when a gas engineer called.

Their house in Bedworth, Warwickshire, was filled with deadly carbon monoxide leaking from a broken flue.

They knew nothing about it, although the mother had red circles around her eyes and the father was asleep.

The gas engineer made the discovery only after a call to a neighbor whose carbon monoxide detector went off because of the leak.

The family was immediately rushed to hospital and left in tears of relief as they escape.

Now they are urging others to make sure they do one thing: have a carbon monoxide alarm in the home.

The family had no alarm on the day of the incident.

However, a neighbor’s alarm had gone off after it started picking up a low reading – leading to a call for 34-year-old Cadent gas engineer Mo Dawood.

It was this simple phone call and Mr. Dawood’s thoroughness that saved the family.

As part of his investigation, Mr. Dawood went next to Mrs. Savory’s address and knocked on the door.

While waiting for someone to reply, he followed the procedure and put his gas detector through the letterbox.

To his horror, he found the house overrun with a potentially lethal dose.

Mr. Dawood said, “The CO lecture I was getting at the time was so massive that I couldn’t believe it.”

The reading was nearly 600 parts per million (PPM) CO – a level that is deadly if the exposure lasts for a few hours.

He said, “Nobody answered so I gave the door a real bang and finally a lady (Mrs. Savory) came to the door.

“I could immediately see that she had large red circles around her eyes, so I ordered her and everyone in the house to leave as soon as possible.

“The father (Mr. Tonks) came to the door but didn’t look well. He said he had been in bed because he had been on a rugby the night before and had a few beers. He started to wobble and collapse. “

The family was rushed to Coventry University Hospital, where they were treated for carbon monoxide poisoning.

Mr Dawood said: “When I think back to it, I remember finishing my previous job earlier than expected, which meant I was there earlier – that turned out to be so important in this case. If I had been there later, we might have faced a different situation. “

Two years later, the pair urges people to follow Cadent’s safety advice.

This is simple and can save your life: have the boiler serviced annually and buy and fit an audible carbon monoxide alarm.

The family’s plea comes ahead of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, which runs through Nov. 29.

“Someone looked down on us that day,” said Mrs. Savory.

The 40-year-old added: “I think about it a lot when I look at my kids and Lee.

When we got back from the hospital and the kids were finally asleep, we both cried. We realize how incredibly lucky we have been.

“I’m surprised we never had a carbon monoxide alarm in the first place. We hadn’t had a new boiler installed for long and it probably fell off the radar.

Until it affects you personally, you just think ‘it would never happen to me’. But it almost did and I would just ask anyone to learn from this, buy an alarm, or a pair, and make sure you get that annual safety check of your devices. “

Mr. Tonks, 40, said: “If Mo hadn’t knocked on our door that morning, we wouldn’t be here now, so we owe him everything.

‘I had been out the night before and thought I just had a bad hangover. I felt nauseated and light-headed, and as soon as I went out I collapsed.

“The carbon monoxide alarms are bound to sell out quickly in stores because my friends and family bought them all.

“For just £ 10 to save your family’s life, it’s worth every penny.”

For more information on carbon monoxide and safety advice, visit www.cadentgas.com/co

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