Teaneck, NJ – Thirteen people were taken to area hospitals this morning with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning after a gas oven was left on for at least two days in a house on Brinkerhoff Avenue, authorities said.
The injuries were not believed to be serious and most of the victims were treated and released from Holy Name Hospital and Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, said Battalion Chief Paul Browning of the Teaneck Fire Department. The occupants of the house had left the stove on for Shavuos.
Firefighters first received a call from one of the occupants just before 8 a.m. after a carbon monoxide alarm sounded, Browning said. When firefighters responded, they found high levels of the gas in the house and evacuated the occupants, some of whom complained of nausea and headaches.
The 2 1/2- story house was mostly sealed with the air conditioning running, Browning said. An ambulance was dispatched to administer oxygen while firefighters ventilated the building.
“If you leave your stove on for two days, this is bound to happen,” Browning said.
He added that carbon monoxide calls are a fairly frequent occurrence in the township during Yomim Tovim.
The Fire Department received two reports on Wednesday of carbon monoxide detectors being set off by stoves that had been left on, and authorities receive similar calls almost every Friday night when Jewish families are observing Shabbos, Browning said.
“We are afraid one day there will be someone who doesn’t have a carbon monoxide alarm in their house and we will have a very bad outcome,” Browning said.