ST. LOUIS–(KMOX)–She was a mother of ten who died earlier this month after being overcome by carbon monoxide in her home. Now an alarm manufacturer and the St. Louis fire department are giving out 150 free carbon monoxide detectors to prevent more tragedies.
Delphine Gray, 34, of the 3900 block of St. Louis Avenue, died after being found unconscious in her duplex on February 11. A man at the home was hospitalized in critical condition from the buildup and several children were also sickened.
“Carbon monoxide is odorless as well as colorless,” said Fire Captain Dan Sutter, “There’s no way to detect it other than using an alarm.”
Gray died after the family had used a portable generator in the house, but Sutter says the same fatal does of CO can come from faulty furnaces, hot water heaters, or any appliance that burns fuel. Some people have been stricken in the past from running automobiles in attached garages, or from barbecuing in the doorway of a garage to stay out of the rain.
“If you have a carbon monoxide detector in your home, the alarm would sound, notify you that there was a problem and you would call 9-1-1,” Sutter said, “And we would respond to that location where would investigate the cause.”
Sutter says Gray’s death was the first carbon monoxide fatality this year. Typically, he says, one or two people die annually in the city from carbon monoxide poisoning, and many others are sickened.
Symptoms mimic the flu — headache, nausea , vomiting . Sutter says if several people in the house suddenly show all these symptoms, get out, get some fresh air and call the fire department to investigate.
The fire department says everyone should have a carbon monoxide detector in their sleeping area to awaken them in the night if there’s a problem.
The manufacturer, First Alert, donated 150 detectors to be given away in response to the Delphine Gray tragedy.
Sutter says to get a free carbon monoxide detector, city residents should call 314-289-1905, and fire officials will come to your home to install it.