I am employed by a Propane Gas Retailer, and I was dispatched to a customer’s home who was complaining of a bad smell, headache and nausea. I arrived within 30 minutes, suspecting either a gas leak or possible carbon monoxide exposure, so I went to door with my CO detector in hand. When I got to the door, the alarm on my detector went off, indicating dangerous levels. I immediately attempted to get someone to the door. After several attempts of knocking and no one responding, I peered through peephole in the door to see two individuals unconscious on furniture. I had to force door open and carry both outside for fresh air. I also had our office dispatch 911 services.
Within 15 minutes, city police, firemen and ambulance service had all arrived. After a detailed investigation of what might have caused the incident, it was determined that there was a party, and someone attending the party had improperly lit the pilot on their furnace. That person had not sealed the burner opening properly, causing exhaust to be pulled into duct system and distributed amongst the home. Emergency personnel wouldn’t allow the individuals to come back to the home as a result. I felt sorry for the single mom and her child, so I got them a room in a motel for the night.
About two weeks later, I was giving my deposition to our insurance company and was told that they would settle even though it was clearly not our responsibility. They said it was cheaper than fighting it in court. They gave her a $75,000 settlement. I’m sure our insurance went up as well!