One person dies after SFFD responds to carbon monoxide alarm

Amy Hollyfield Image
ByAmy Hollyfield KGO logo
Wednesday, October 8, 2014
One person dies after carbon monoxide alarm goes off in SF
One person died after San Francisco firefighters responded to a carbon monoxide alarm at an apartment on Taraval Street.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- One person died after firefighters responded to a carbon monoxide alarm in San Francisco's Parkside neighborhood early Wednesday morning, fire officials said.

The alarm was reported at 5:08 a.m. at a multi-unit building at 1255 Taraval St. and had apparently been sounding for hours, according to fire officials.

It wasn't the kind of alarm that is familiar and some almost ignored it.

"I heard the beeping but didn't connect it to anything but he woke me up and said there were firemen at the door," said resident Dan Gurler.

Firefighters swept each room and determined with their own equipment that the levels were above normal.

The beeping was coming from the carbon monoxide detectors. They don't sound like the usual smoke detector, but can save your life from a silent killer.

"We should all have carbon monoxide detectors," said Battalion Chief Richard McGee.

Firefighters detected levels of carbon monoxide that were above normal and decided to evacuate the building.

"I wake up to 10 firefighters in my room, but better than not waking up," said resident David Fincher.

PG&E did not find the source of the gas. They say the problem could be that the gas they vent to the outside came back in.

"There's always a possibility of a change in weather or wind direction or atmospheric conditions that cause the carbon monoxide to come back down the vent pipe and fill the habitable space," said McGee

One man in his 90's suffered a heart attack during the evacuation and died. Officials don't know if the carbon monoxide contributed to his death, but say it's no likely because his wife who lived in the same apartment unit is fine.

Bay City News contributed to this story.