Firefighter Lonnie Wimmer was enjoying a night out with friends at a restaurant in Clemmons, North Carolina. The mood at the the River Ridge Tap House started out jovial and pleasant, but after being at the establishment for about an hour or so, the group began to complain of a variety of physical complaints. Some said that they felt nauseous, while others had headaches. Some even reported chest pain.
To anyone else, the complaints might have flown under the radar. But not for the off-duty firefighter. Wimmer became suspicious that there was something seriously wrong inside the restaurant. He called his firehouse and asked fellow firefightersÂ to come check out the Tap House right away.
When officials arrived, they found that there was indeed a serious problem. The carbon monoxide levels at the restaurant were extremely high. An immediate evacuation was ordered, with 16 people ending up at the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning. Later the culprit was found to be a broken mechanism in the heating unit.
The restaurant staff and patrons were very grateful that Wimmer was able to use his education and training to help save their lives.
Carbon monoxide is called the "silent killer" because it is odorlessâyet can be fatal. Between 20,000 to 30,000 people become ill from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, with 500 people succumbing to the toxin within their own homes.
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Public Service Announcement: Just reminding you to check your homes for a working #carbonmonoxidealarm. It could save your life. #carbonmonoxide is a colourless, odourless deadly gas. If you do a quick Google search you'll see how deadly it is. As winter draws in, home heating is on, it'll take a few minutes to install and you can sleep well knowing you and your loved ones are safe. Go ahead. X
Fortunately, thanks to one brave firefighter trusting his intuition and putting his training to use, this story has a happy ending. However, it is a good reminder that we must be proactive when it comes to safety. If you would like to learn more about the symptoms of carbon monoxide posioning and how to protect yourself and your family, please visit The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. After all, we can't always rely on off-duty firefighters to come to the rescue!
[h/t: CBS News]