Carbon Monoxide from a portable generator nearly took the lives of this Michigan family during a recent power outage.

On August 30th, the Stamper family in Farmington Hills lost power after severe thunderstorms passed through the area.  They were running a small, portable generator in the garage in order to keep appliances running until power was restored.  Someone had mistakenly closed the garage door which could have led to a deadly ending if it weren't for Thor.

Thor, the family's 4-month-old kitten woke up Heidi Stamper with a loud cry.  Heidi said that Thor was clearly sick so she took the kitten outside for some fresh air.  That seemed to do the trick.  But then, as soon as she brought the cat back inside, the cat passed out.

At one point in the middle of the night, Thor woke up the 2 children (11 years old and 13 years old) with his loud cries.  The two kids were able to wake up their parents who were both feeling the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Farmington Hills fire Chief Jon Unruh tells Click on Detroit that the cat likely saved the Stamper's lives and reminds people to take carbon monoxide seriously

The fire department reminds everyone that generators should never be used inside homes, garages, basements, sheds, or any other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces. In this case, using a portable generator in an enclosed garage almost had deadly consequences.

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All four members of the family were immediately taken to the hospital and thankfully survived this incident.

The CDC points out that hundreds of people in the U.S. die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning due to improperly operating their portable generators.  Below are a couple of guidelines you should follow when using a portable generator.

  • Never use a generator inside your home or garage, even if doors and windows are open.
  • Only use generators outside, more than 20 feet away from your home, doors, and windows.

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