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Questar tech saves Utah man from carbon monoxide-filled home

Published March 13, 2013 9:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Questar technician saved a man Wednesday from his Kearns home, which was flooding with carbon monoxide gas.

The man's sister woke up that morning and smelled something weird in the air, so she called Questar Gas just after 7 a.m., said Unified Fire Capt. Clint Mecham.

A technician arrived and his carbon monoxide monitor immediately went off, showing a reading of 800 parts per million, "the highest I have ever seen it," Mecham said, speaking from 10 years of hazardous material experience. UFA normally evacuates a house if the reading reaches even 10 parts per million.

The technician got the woman out, but when he went back inside to check on her brother, he found him unconscious in a basement room. So he carried him out.

UFA arrived just as the technician emerged from the house with the man. They're not discounting that the technician may have saved the man's life.

"Our hats are off to him," Mecham said. "He's a very humble individual, he said he did what any good person would have done."

UFA took the unconscious man to a local hospital in serious condition. They also tracked down the woman's two children, who had left for school before the leak, and took them and their mother to the hospital as a precaution.

Investigators found that an exhaust pipe — which is supposed to be hooked up to appliances like water heaters and furnaces — had broke, and was venting carbon monoxide into the house rather than out of it, Mecham said.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda