An Ohio family of five’s lives were at risk when they almost died from the presence of high levels of carbon monoxide in their home.

As WTOL reports, early on the morning of January 17, Ian and Jen Killbride were woken up by the sound of their teenager vomiting. When Ian got out of bed to assist his son, the dad collapsed in the hallway.


Jen’s instincts told her that something wasn’t right.

She said:

“I had this overwhelming feeling that I had to get up, and it was overwhelming. So I got out of bed and as I turned the corner, Ian was having seizure-like activity.”

When Jen reached her husband, she fainted, too. They eventually regained consciousness and were confused about what was happening to them. At first, they thought it was the flu.

Jen explained:

“We were going to be going back to bed, and I told him, ‘I’m very concerned. I don’t know what happened if you had a  stroke or a seizure or something. And just then our daughter came around the corner. And I got up to attend to her, and she passed out right there.”


It occurred to Ian and Jen that it was time to call 911. The operator asked them if they had a carbon monoxide detector.

Ian told WTOL:

“The 911 operator, as soon as she said that, it clicked. The phone was down. We woke up Nick and we got by the windows.”

The Perrysburg Fire Department arrived and urged the family to immediately exit their home.

Carbon Monoxide (CO) is called “the silent killer” because people can’t detect it by sight, smell, or taste and can be fatal to families who have malfunctioning appliances in their homes. Not having a thorough home inspection, or a functioning CO detector, could end in tragedy, as Dearly previously reported.

According to WTOL’s report, CO is measured in “parts per million (ppm).” Fifty ppm of carbon monoxide can kill a person.

In the Killbride’s home, the level of carbon monoxide was between 300 to 500 ppm, which they found later was caused by a failure in their furnace’s heat exchanger. Although they did have an inspection in their home, it was not a full inspection. Their carbon monoxide detector had also expired.


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), some common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include:

[H]eadache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion.

CO symptoms are often described as “flu-like.”

So, the fact that the Killbrides thought they had the flu wasn’t so far off.

People can keep their families safe from CO poisoning by installing a CO detector. The detector should have a digital screen and an alarm. The CDC recommends checking or replacing the battery every fall and spring and replace the detector every five years.


Gas appliances, such as water heaters, should be checked and chimneys should be inspected and cleaned on a yearly basis. It is vital to have a qualified technician inspect the water heater, gas, oil, or coal burning appliances each year.

Ian told WTOL that the family learned their lesson:

“Make sure to test them. There are ways to test them. We now have about six of them throughout our house.”

Ian is just grateful that they survived a near tragedy. He believes that a higher power was watching out for his family.

He added:

“Those levels were sky high. So yes, someone was watching out for us.”

Jen shared the same awe and gratitude. She said: “God was here. He was here with all of us.”

You can watch the WTOL report below:

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