Teaneck: 13 Treated for Carbon Monoxide from Stove Left On for Yom Tov


stovetopTeaneck, 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.

{NorthJersey.com/Matzav.com Newscenter}


  1. Yes we must get together as a community and create more awareness of safety risks, and the importance of having smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. And the importance of maintaining them if they need new batteries.

  2. Another option, although check it with your Rav while there are those who are not matir, is to get what they call here in EY a “chagaz” – a clock for your gas oven that works like a Shabbos clock. You attach it to the gas, and then set it for however much time you want. When the timer is up, the gas shuts off.

  3. Perhaps it’s time for the rabbonim to come out and prohibit gas ovens for Shabbos and Yom Tov unless there is a foolproof way to avoid this scenario. Leaving the windows open is NOT the solution. Chamira sakanta may’issura!

  4. Comment 6: Pray tell, what sugggestions do you have for keeping food warm on Shabbos and warming food on Yom Tov? Electric urns and hot plates are a source of sakana too, when placed in an accessible area. People have to use common sense around stoves and ovens at all times.

  5. Comment 7: How can you compare gas ovens to urns and hot plates? The spout of urns can be turned sideways and put up against the backsplash, and if one has an electric stove, one doesn’t need a hotplate on Yom Tov. Furthermore, carbon monoxide which is odourless and colourless can kill someone. What if the detector needs new batteries? For warming food on Shabbos, the good old crock pot works just fine, and you can put food on the cover to keep it warm. Insofar as Yom Tov, do as comment 5 says: Get a “chagaz” that works like a Shabbos clock. I know there are timers in every hardware store, but they tell you not to use it for cooking appliances as it can cause a fire hazard. It’s time to bring the “chagaz” to America!

  6. Here are details about the “Chagaz” invented by the Tzomet Institute in Israel:

    As is well known, cooking is permitted on a holiday, but is it practical? Lighting a flame is no problem, since a fire can be lit from an existing one. But how can it be extinguished? One way that is sometimes used is gramma (indirect action), such as filling a pot with water, which puts the flame out when it boils over. But this is not only dangerous, it is problematic from a halachic point of view.

    And that is why The Zomet Institute has developed the Holiday Gas Timer (Chagaz). This is a spring-operated mechanical timer. It is set before a flame is lit, and it then turns the flame off at the preset time. The Chagaz is a simple and safe device which limits the duration of the gas flow.

    The halachic foundation of the Chagaz is that one is permitted to remove excess fuel before a flame is lit. The device has been approved by Rabbi Ovadia Yosef and Rabbi Yehoshua Noibirt.

    Note: Once the flame has been lit it must not be lowered, and the timer must not be readjusted to turn the gas off earlier than was originally planned.

    According to the Israeli standard, the ‘Chagaz’ must be installed by a qualified gas technician.
    For more details, contact The Zomet Institute.

  7. you can use a shabbos clock for you oven on yom tov too-you don’t have to buy a “chagaz” never even heard of it until now