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Carbon monoxide leak sends three to hospital

October 02, 2012

HAGERSTOWN — Two adults and a child were taken to Meritus Medical Center after a carbon monoxide leak was discovered Tuesday afternoon in a three-story house at 804 Washington Ave., according to a Hagerstown Fire Department spokesman.

There was nothing to indicate that the people had any life-threatening injuries, Hagerstown Fire Marshal Doug DeHaven said Tuesday evening.

The carbon monoxide leak was due to a malfunction on a natural gas water heater, said Hagerstown Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Cleck.

The leak was discovered after people in the house complained of flu-like symptoms, Cleck said.

Emergency crews corrected the problem and the house was ventilated, Cleck said.

The problem was reported at 3:30 p.m.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and toxic gas. Because it is impossible to see, taste or smell the toxic fumes, carbon monoxide can result in death before people know it is in their home, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency website.

At lower levels of exposure, carbon monoxide causes mild effects that are often mistaken for the flu, the website said.

- Dave McMillion

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