Carbon monoxide poisoning concerns rise as Ottawa residents wait for power to return

As hydro crews work to restore power to residents across Ontario and Quebec, emergency crews have noticed a rise in 911 calls related to carbon monoxide.

Officials are reminding residents to be careful when keeping warm, as they wait for electricity to return.

Sasha Force and her family have been sitting in the dark for the last three days, piling on the blankets as they wait for the lights to come on.

“No furnace no hot water… pretty much done with it,” said Force.

Wednesday’s icy storm left hundreds of thousands of people across eastern Ontario and Quebec with no power or heat.

“Every night it’s been a little colder, more of the residual heat has been gone. I worry about my kids,” said Force who lives in Nepean.

Bundled in layers, Charlene Nixon is also hoping power will be up and running soon.

“The temperature inside the house is five degrees,” she said.

“I had driven around the neighbourhood and I hadn’t seen the trucks yet.”

Hydro crews have been working around the clock to restore power and fix damaged wires but emergency crews in both regions say there’s been a rise in 911 calls relating to carbon monoxide poisoning.

On Friday, Ottawa Fire Services tweeted that 11 residents from one home were transported to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning from using a BBQ inside.

In Quebec at least 82 people have been hospitalized and one person is dead after being exposed to the odourless gas.

Experts are urging people to be careful when trying to stay warm.

“It’s tasteless it’s invisible, but it is a poison and it is deadly,” said Alexandra Campbell with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority.

“Any of those appliances like BBQs and generators are meant to be used outside not in your home.”

Recovery efforts continue in the capital, Ottawa Hydro said they aim to have all power restored by the end of Saturday.

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