When Los Angeles Fire Department Firefighters arrived on scene of a medical call in Koreatown, what they found was something deadly.
On March 8, 2018 the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a medical call at 920 South Hobart Boulevard in the Koreatown area of Los Angeles. While crews were on-scene treating the female patient they began to have a sense that “something was wrong” and quickly began using handheld gas detectors throughout the building where they found elevated levels of carbon monoxide (CO). The building was immediately evacuated and each apartment searched where an adult male was found dead. While this death is still under active investigation and the cause will be determined by the Los Angeles County Coroner, it is important to remember the dangers of carbon monoxide and to know that it is lethal.
What is Carbon Monoxide?
It is called the “silent killer” because it is colorless, odorless, tasteless and nonirritating. If the early signs of CO poisoning are ignored, a person may lose consciousness and be unable to escape the area.
Where is CO found?
Carbon monoxide is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.
What are the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning?
The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion. CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.” If you breathe in a lot of CO it can make you pass out or kill you.
How can I prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in my home?
Install a battery-operated or battery back-up CO detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. Place your detector where it will wake you up if it alarms, such as outside your bedroom. Consider buying a detector with a digital readout. This detector can tell you the highest level of CO concentration in your home in addition to alarming. Replace your CO detector every five years.
What should I do if I suspect carbon monoxide?
If you are feeling symptoms and have decided that carbon monoxide may be the cause, immediately evacuate all people and animals in your home and call 9-1-1. If you feel you have a non-emergency carbon monoxide safety issue, evacuate and call SoCal Gas at 1-800-427-2200.
Where can I get more information?
There are many great resources online including the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionSoCal Gas, and the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department
— Find Your Station
— Fire Safety
— Medical Emergencies
— Evacuation Info
— Disaster Readiness
— Smoking Violation
— Fire Stat LA
— Los Angeles Community Resource Guide for Immigrant Angelenos