CHICAGO - Four people, including an elderly woman, were transported to the hospital Thursday night after high levels of carbon monoxide were detected at their West Side residence.
The incident occurred in the 1800 block of South St. Louis in the city’s North Lawndale neighborhood.
Officials said carbon monoxide readings registered close to 500 parts per million. Normal levels in the air should range between 0 and 9 parts per million, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
According to the Chicago Fire Department, six people were found in or near the home, including an 80-year-old woman who was unconscious.
Three adults were transported to area hospitals in critical condition, and one was transported in serious condition.
Two others declined medical attention.
According to preliminary information, officials say there were no working carbon monoxide detectors in the home.
Earlier Thursday, CFD’s First Deputy Fire Commissioner Mary Sheridan spoke about the importance of carbon monoxide detectors during a press conference about winter safety.
"I think the biggest battle that the Chicago Fire Department faces is working smoke detectors and working carbon monoxide detectors," said Sheridan. "Smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors give residents the alert to safely evacuate and they save lives."
Officials said dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the home may have been caused by the furnace.
"You should never use an alternative method to heat your home like the oven or stovetop burners. Those are extremely dangerous. If you’re using a space heater, make sure that space heater is kept at least three feet away from furniture, bedding and other combustibles," said Sheridan.
Carbon monoxide detectors can be purchased online or at most big box stores.