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Alert firefighter recognizes carbon monoxide danger

WITHERBEE Tragedy was adverted during last weekends ice storm thanks to an alert Moriah firefighter. Ernest Fleury Jr. of the Moriah Fire Department called the Mineville-Witherbee Fire Department March 9 when he discovered more than a dozen people overcome by carbon monoxide in an apartment building on Witherbee Road. Four ambulances took the apartment residents to Elizabethtown Community Hospital and Moses-Ludington Hospital in Ticonderoga for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning. All were later released. Fleurys son lives in the Witherbee apartment building, but had taken his family to the Fleury home in Moriah to stay because the Fleury home had heat. Fleury drove his son back to the apartment building Sunday to pick up some clothes and discovered a generator running inside the buildings entryway. The generator was in use as apartment residents attempted to stay warm during the power outage. Its common sense, really, Fleury said. You shouldnt have a generator running without proper exhaust. I knew it could be problem. Residents inside the apartment building were experiencing headaches, nausea and other symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, he said. Fleury called the Mineville-Witherbee Fire Department for assistance. I really didnt do anything but get the Mineville fire department to come over, Fleury said. My main concern were the babies and elderly people in the building. Im just glad everyone is alright. Fleury said when firefighters entered the building they discovered carbon monoxide levels of 79 parts per 1,000 enough to kill people. Im just glad everyone is OK, Fleury said. That would have been a terrible thing to go into that building and find a bunch of bodies.

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