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Six hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning

BUFORD - Six people were sent to Gwinnett Medical Center on Monday morning after being exposed to carbon monoxide gas inside their home.

Gwinnett County Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge said first arriving crews evacuated the residents from the Buford home on Boulder Way after they complained of dizziness, nausea and burning eyes - typical symptoms of exposure to the toxic gas.

Rutledge said all six residents, including a 17-month-old child, were alert and conscious when firefighters arrived shortly after 2:30 a.m.

Due to state laws, Rutledge said he could not release the residents' names or their conditions.

All six were assessed by emergency personnel while firefighters monitored gas readings, detecting a carbon monoxide reading of 220 parts per million inside the home.

"This is extremely high," Rutledge said. "We are lucky someone woke up and called 911."

Pilot lights on the kitchen stove were out and were believed to be the source of the gas, but Rutledge said the exact source has not been determined.

Firefighters shut off the gas supply and ventilated the home, bringing down gas readings to zero to five parts per million.

The gas company was notified and residents were instructed not to return until the stove and other home heating appliances were checked to assure they were running properly.

As frigid temperatures approach, Rutledge said it is important to have heating and fuel burning appliances and fire places serviced by professionals before use.

Because carbon monoxide leaks tend to increase during the winter months, Rutledge reminds home and business owners to install and maintain smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and alarms.