Ten people at St. Paul home hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning

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Carbon monoxide poisoning at a home in St. Paul hospitalized ten people Monday morning, according to St. Paul Deputy Fire Chief Butch Inks.

At 9:20 a.m., fire medics responded to an unknown illness at a home on Burr Street. A person at the home told responders they felt nauseous and had a headache. But when another person in the house told medics they had the same symptoms for the past few days, the medics realized the illness may be carbon monoxide poisoning. A team tested the home and readings came back with high CO levels.

Crews took 10 people, three children and seven adults, to Hennepin County Medical Center. Two people needed treatment in the hyperbaric chamber. All the patients appear to be ok. One of the chickens in the home died.

"It's key [the responders] realized it was not an illness like the flu and for them to recognize the signs and switch gears was critical," said Deputy Chief Inks.

Pao Thao and his wife moved into the house two weeks ago, but now they're displaced. Thao was treated for CO poisoning and is currently recovering.

"I've still got a big headache, but I'm doing OK," he said. "I just had a hard time waking up this morning. I didn't pick my wife up from work yesterday. I didn't know I slept through it...and this morning I was in a lot of pain, stumbling."

Investigators believe a faulty boiler is to blame for the leak, and the fire department said because paramedics recognized the signs of poisoning, they may have saved 10 lives.

"I was just hoping I'd be ok and I'll still be alive because you never know what could have happened if we weren't taken to the hospital. I'm just happy we are still here," Thao said.