St. Louis Park couple warns others after close call with carbon monoxide

Maya King and Charlie Falk are counting their blessings this holiday season, after a close call in their St. Louis Park home that came to a head on Christmas Eve.

"Our families almost woke up without us," Maya said. "I was actually slowly dying, and  was slowly being poisoned for weeks."

King and Falk moved to a townhome in the Era on Excelsior community on Dec. 1. But Maya says immediately after moving in, she began to feel sick whenever she was at home; and the condition got worse each day.

"Everything in my body [was] telling me something is not right," King explained.

On Christmas Eve, King says she woke up feeling disoriented and fell into a wall. Then Charlie rushed her to a hospital, where she would learn she had carbon monoxide poisoning. 

Their home’s furnace had been leaking carbon monoxide. And adding insult to injury, King and Falk say their three-story home only had one carbon monoxide detector.

"A maintenance man came and brought a new one, and the new one went off immediately," King said. "The one that we did have in this unit was completely defective."

As Centerpoint Energy spokesperson Ross Corsin reminds:

  • Make sure your home has a carbon monoxide detector near every sleeping area. Test the unit(s) regularly.
  • Get your furnace inspected annually; and check that its exhaust vents are not blocked by any snow or ice.

"It’s just something for people to be aware and very conscientious about," Corsin said.

In the meantime, King and Falk’s home is currently unlivable. Their furnace, water heater and stove top were all disconnected after Dec. 24; forcing them to find a hotel room. 

In a statement, management company Bigos wrote:

"The safety of our residents is our utmost concern.  We are working with the impacted residents to return them home as quickly as possible. Our life safety systems are inspected on regular intervals, and our smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are replaced according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.  Our team is proactively inspecting equipment to ensure this remains an isolated incident."