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Authorities: Family poisoned by carbon monoxide in Cape home

By Staff | Jul 9, 2009

A Cape Coral family is recovering at Lee Memorial Hospital from carbon monoxide poisoning.
At 8:28 p.m. Tuesday, Cape Coral police and fire units responded to a residence on Southwest Sixth Place. A police report indicates that officers broke down a door to gain entry to the home.
They found two adults, a male and female, Thanh T. Nguyen and Xinh T. Ly, and a female child unconscious inside the home. The name of the child was not released.
Officers had to physically remove the family from the home as all three were in respiratory arrest.
They were resuscitated and transported to Lee Memorial Hospital. Cape firefighters also resuscitated a family pet dog at the scene.
Cape Coral spokeswoman Connie Barron said Wednesday that she was unaware of how long the family was in distress before calling 911.
“That’s hard to say because we don’t know how long they were in that state,” she said.
Barron added that firefighters found a truck running in the garage and turned the vehicle off. Officers noted in their report that the door leading into the residence from the garage was closed.
Lee County Health Department officials said it is important to be aware while using gas powered engines or tools. They especially urge safety during hurricane season when generators are often used.
“Never use these engines or tools inside, this includes the garage,” said spokeswoman Jennifer James Mesloh. “People need to remember that buildup of carbon monoxide cannot be eliminated by using an exhaust fan, or opening garage doors or windows.”
LCHD recommends purchasing a battery powered carbon monoxide detector to monitor dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in one’s home. If someone feels like they have been exposed to carbon monoxide, seek help immediately.
“They should get out of the enclosed area immediately and seek prompt medical help,” she said.
A call to Lee Memorial Hospital found Nguyen in good condition Wednesday. No other information was available on the other two family members.
The incident is under investigation by the Cape Coral police and fire departments.