4 adults, 6 children hospitalized for carbon monoxide exposure across Houston overnight

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Across Houston overnight, six children and four adults were taken to the hospital due to carbon monoxide incidents.

In two separate incidents, the victims had set up barbecue grills inside their homes to stay warm.

Firefighters were first called to an apartment complex on Skyline Drive near Unity around 11:45 p.m. Wednesday.

Officials say a family of four, including three children, was using a pot with charcoal inside to try to heat up their home.

A neighbor ABC13 spoke with says the power came back on Thursday morning, but it feels like 22 degrees inside their units.

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Relatives say Etenesh Mersha was running her car in an attached garage in order to charge her cell phone when the family was overcome by carbon monoxide.



Less than an hour later, three children and three adults were taken to the hospital after a similar carbon monoxide incident in southwest Houston.

This time, firefighters were called to an apartment on Hodges Street.

Once again, officials say they were using a barbecue grill inside their unit to stay warm.

So far, it appears all six people will be okay.

Investigators say the leading causes of carbon monoxide poisoning are furnaces, stoves, fireplaces, water heaters, grills and running engines.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is dangerous and potentially poisonous if inhaled. Here are some tips to protect everyone in your building from potentially deadly CO poisoning.

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Carbon monoxide safety tips



Mild exposure to CO can cause:
  • Slight headache
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Flu-like symptoms that disappear when the person breathes fresh air


Medium exposure can cause:
  • Drowsiness
  • Confusion
  • Severe headache
  • Rapid heart rate


Severe exposure:

  • Convulsions
  • Unconsciousness
  • Cardiac/respiratory arrest
  • Death


Treatment for CO exposure is fresh air or oxygen. Severe exposure requires medical attention.

If you suspect CO is present in your building:
  1. Open windows to ventilate the area.
  2. Shut off your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances.
  3. If you're experiencing physical symptoms, get everyone, including pets, out of your building.
  4. If you have an attached garage, open the largest garage door.
  5. If you suspect problems with your appliances, call your gas appliance dealer or CenterPoint Energy's Customer Service.
  6. If CO is discovered, don't return to your building until the source is found and the problem corrected.
  7. Get to fresh air and call 911.


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The desperate pursuit to stay warm during the historically cold weather has become tragic in some cases, and as explained in the video, the cases of carbon monoxide poisoning in th

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