“It was about 15 years or so ago and we had people over for Passover Seder. I’d been cooking all day. Toward the end, I knew I wasn’t feeling well. I was feeling queasy and lightheaded and had a terrible headache. But I put it down to not having really eaten all day and having been over a hot stove all day. As we sat down to have the Seder, an alarm upstairs goes off…”
“He goes up and says it’s not the smoke detector, it’s the carbon monoxide detector, but it’s flashing a yellow warning and he thinks it’s malfunctioning so he unplugs it. Just as we’re getting ready to start again, the downstairs one goes off and this time it’s flashing red lights at us. I call 911 and tell dispatch what’s going on and he tells me to get everyone out of the house and that they’re sending a truck. I ask if I should stay on the line with him and he says “No. I’m hanging up and everyone else get out of the house. Right now!” So we do.
When the firemen get there, they go into the house with handheld CO meters, but they immediately turn around and come right back out and tell us that they need to put on oxygen masks because the CO levels in the house topped out their meters. After about an hour, they finally found the source. It was my stove, which I had turned off as we left the house. One of them turned the stove on and the CO levels immediately shot up. They pulled it, red-tagged it, then used the big extraction fans to clear everything out of the house before we could go back in.
We were really lucky to have the detectors. Our friends that had come to dinner were staying overnight and had their 1-year-old son with them. There would have been a tragedy had we not known.”