Kitten saves Michigan family from carbon monoxide poisoning

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Kitten saves Michigan family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Thor lived up to his super-hero rep just purr-fectly.

A 4-month-old kitten living with a Farmington Hills, Mich., family started mewing in distress while carbon monoxide from a generator in a closed garage began to fill the home — waking up his sleeping humans before they succumbed to the deadly fumes.

According to fire department officials, the family lost power in an Aug. 30 storm and didn’t realize they were trapped when their portable generator’s colorless, orderless fumes began to seep inside.

There was no CO detector in the house.

Thor began the mews of distress to matriarch Heidi Stamper, who took the kitty outside, where he immediately stopped crying in response to the fresh air.

But when she and Thor went back inside, the matriarch soon lost consciousness while her husband Ronald became groggy — prompting Thor to sound the mewing alarm with 13-year-old Paige and 11-year-old Quinn. The sisters then helped take their mom and half-conscious dad to the yard.

“This is a frightening example of how carbon monoxide can accumulate quickly and potentially be fatal,” Farmington Hills fire Chief Jon Unruh said. “Fortunately, this incident had a positive ending, but we hope all families will learn from the Stampers and keep their generators outside.”

A Michigan family discovered a carbon monoxide in their home when their 4-month-old kitten Thor began crying in distress and woke them up.
A Michigan family discovered a carbon monoxide in their home when their 4-month-old kitten Thor began crying in distress and woke them up.
Farmington Hills Fire Department
The Stamper family did not have a CO detector in their house to warn them about fumes from their generator.
The Stamper family did not have a CO detector in their house to warn them about fumes from their generator.
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The young sisters were able to call authorities and the family was rushed to a nearby hospital; the mom and her daughters were later airlifted to ProMedica Hospital in Toledo, Ohio.

“The fire department reminds everyone that generators should never be used inside homes, garages, basements, sheds, or any other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces,” Unruh said. “In this case, using a portable generator in an enclosed garage almost had deadly consequences.”

The fire department also encouraged residents to install carbon monoxide detectors, just like the Stampers and their neighbors did following the incident.

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