Pasco man found dead in home full of high levels of carbon monoxide

Pasco man found dead in home full of high levels of carbon monoxide

PASCO, Wash. -- Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. A man died today in his Pasco home, where emergency responders found high levels of carbon monoxide.

Officials say they are still investigating where the carbon monoxide was coming from, but they suspect it is what caused this Pasco man's death.

“They hadn't seen him today, so they came in, got in the house, couldn't wake him up,” said Ben Shearer of the Pasco Fire Department.

51-year-old John Hunt wouldn't wake up this morning, so his friend--who could smell gas--called for help.

“Crews at that point backed out to make sure it was secure,” Shearer said. “We've opened up the home, we've had fans running. We had to blow all the CO out of the house before we could do anything else.”

“It's always sad when somebody dies, it's not what we're here to do,” Shearer said. “When we don't even have the chance to do anything for them, that just goes against all of our training.”

Ben Shearer said he wants this tragedy to be a signal for others in the community.

“We've got to get people out there to understand that a thirty-dollar carbon monoxide alarm can save a life,” Shearer said. “It possibly could have saved a life this time around.”

Carbon monoxide alarms will warn you if there are high or low levels of CO in your home.

“People tell us all the time: ‘if I had something in my house, I would smell it,’ but CO actually decreases your brain activity, and it actually makes you sleep harder,” Shearer said.

And with cold weather coming to stay, Shearer said it's a more common problem.

“This time of year we're closing up homes more, trying to keep that heat in, so we're closing windows and shutting down our houses,” he said.

CO risks could be anything in your home that burns--like a gas or wood-burning stove.

“Now is the time to think, ‘what is in my house that could cause CO?’” Shearer suggested.

He said make sure you have an alarm on every level of your home, and replace your batteries once a year.

It's a simple action that can make all the difference.

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