Monday 18 December 2017

Family poisoned by blocked chimney

A Doritos bag was found in the family’s chimney by a fire officer.
A Doritos bag was found in the family’s chimney by a fire officer.

Hubert Murphy

A FAMILY miraculously cheated death from carbon monoxide poisoning after a crisp packet blocked their chimney.

The mother and daughter from Duleek only survived after the mum woke at 3.30 a.m., vomiting and with a severe headache. By the time she reached the stairs she had a seizure and suffered a second one moments after ringing her mother in panic.

She was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital while her daughter, chillingly, continued to sleep.

The little girl even went to school the following day, only to be struck down with severe vomiting and was brought home. Only then was carbon monoxide poisoning considered and she too was rushed to hospital.

Her father admitted this week that it was by the grace of God that both were alive.

'They were both feeling sick right up to last Wednesday, that was six days after the incident. We know how lucky they were,' he admitted.

Not wishing to be named, but wanting to tell his story as a warning to every other household out there, he explained what happened.

'It was so simple. My daughter threw a Doritos bag into the fire and it shot upwards, but she didn't think too much about it and went off to bed,' he said.

Only when the drama unfolded that night and into the following day that they realised the cause.

'My sister-in-law went to the house with a carbon monoxide alarm and the reading went through the roof, even after a day,' the still shocked dad continued.

'The council came out to the house and they called the fire officer and the frst place he looked was up the chimney and he found the bag, blocking the flue.

'We all know about fire alarms but there was no carbon monoxide alarm in the house, but I went out and bought one for €28.'

He said he had read stories before about such incidents but never imagined it would happen to his family.

'You never think it will happen to you, but we were blessed.'

Both the mother and daughter suffered chest pain after the incident and were only fully recovering last weekend.

'The neighbours were great, but it was a warning to them too and they've bought alarms. I would urge everyone to get one now,' he remarked. 'It could save your life some time.'

Drogheda Independent

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