Kitten Saves Family From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
(City of Farmington Hills, Sept. 28, 2022)
Farmington Hills, MI – The Farmington Hills Fire Department, aided by a four-month-old kitten named Thor, recently rescued a local family poisoned by carbon monoxide.
On August 30, the Stamper family experienced a power outage during a summer storm and connected a portable generator to help run their appliances. Unfortunately, the garage door accidentally got closed while the generator was running, exposing the family to deadly carbon monoxide gas.
“The Fire Department reminds everyone that generators should NEVER be used inside homes, garages, basements, sheds or any other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces,” said Farmington Hills Fire Chief Jon Unruh. “In this case, using a portable generator in an enclosed garage almost had deadly consequences.” Carbon monoxide is tasteless, colorless, odorless, and impossible for human senses to detect. It builds up quickly and lingers for hours, even after generators are turned off.
While Heidi and Ronald Stamper, and their 13-year-old daughter Paige and 11-year-old son Quinn were sleeping, deadly carbon monoxide was silently building up in their home. Fortunately, the family’s pet kitten Thor woke Mrs. Stamper with a screeching cry and was visibly sick. She took the cat outside, saw that his condition improved, but then brought him back inside and soon lost consciousness herself.
Thor resumed his screeching and alerted Paige and Quinn, who were then able to get their semi-conscious parents out of the house. The Farmington Hills Fire Department soon arrived and transported the family to Beaumont Farmington Hills. Needing specialized care for carbon monoxide poisoning, Heidi and the children were flown to Promedica Hospital in Toledo.
Thankfully, the whole family survived, and Thor is being hailed as a hero and credited with saving their lives. The Stampers now want others to learn from their difficult experience. They are helping the Fire Department spread the word that portable generators should only be operated OUTSIDE and must be placed far away and downwind from windows, doors, and vents.
“This is a frightening example of how carbon monoxide can accumulate quickly and potentially be fatal,” said Chief Unruh. “Fortunately, this incident had a positive ending, but we hope all families will learn from the Stampers and keep their generators outside.”
At the time of the incident, the Stampers’ home did not have any carbon monoxide detectors. They have now installed several CO alarms, as have all their neighbors. If any residents need help with purchasing or installing a carbon monoxide alarm, please contact the Farmington Hills Fire Department at 248-871-2800.
Family friends have established a Go Fund Me site to help the Stampers with medical expenses – https://www.gofundme.com/f/the-stamper-family?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1