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Family becomes ill from fumes while using grill to stay warm

ST. PETERSBURG — A family of three was sickened Sunday by carbon monoxide poisoning while using a charcoal barbecue grill to heat their home, fire officials said.

A 77-year-old man, his 72-year-old wife and their 41-year-old daughter were treated by St. Petersburg Fire Rescue paramedics, then taken to St. Petersburg General Hospital.

According to St. Petersburg Fire, the family was using the grill to heat their home at 1201 32nd St. N because the electricity was out. After using the grill as a heat source for about 12 hours, the family became sick and firefighters responded just after 12:30 p.m.

The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headaches, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion, said St. Petersburg Fire Rescue spokesman Lt. Joel Granata.

"That's exactly what they were experiencing — dizziness, nauseousness, light-headedness," Granata said.

A St. Petersburg Fire Rescue hazardous materials team measured the carbon monoxide at 176 parts per million, well over the 100 ppm that could be lethal, Granata said.

The hazmat team ventilated the structure.

It was unclear Sunday afternoon why the family's power was out.

Family becomes ill from fumes while using grill to stay warm 01/10/10 [Last modified: Sunday, January 10, 2010 4:52pm]

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