An RCMP officer may have saved the life of an elderly Port Alberni woman when he found a carbon monoxide leak in her home on Wednesday.
Const. Greg Fracassi was dispatched to a home in the 5000 block of Richardson Road at 11 p.m. Wednesday because an audible alarm was sounding.
The occupant, an 84-year-old woman, said it was a smoke alarm going off due to a low battery. She wanted to go back to bed.
But Fracassi found the alarm was coming from a carbon monoxide detector.
Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless and tasteless gas that is toxic to humans and animals. Common sources are vehicle emissions and fuel-burning appliances such as fireplaces and furnaces.
Fracassi urged the woman and her neighbour to get out of the house and called Port Alberni Fire Department and B.C. Ambulance paramedics.
Firefighters found very high levels of carbon monoxide in the home. The gas originated from the furnace.
The levels were so high they could have been fatal if the woman had returned to sleep, said Cpl. Jen Allan of Port Alberni RCMP.
The woman was taken to hospital where she was kept for observation.
Allan urged people to service their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors regularly.
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