Family suffers carbon monoxide poisoning after barbecue used indoors

08:15 05 January 2013

The barbecue was brought indoors to dry laundry

The barbecue was brought indoors to dry laundry

Archant

Four young children were among six people who suffered carbon monoxide poisoning after a grandmother used a barbecue indoors to dry clothes.

The incident occurred when the woman was drying some washing in the kitchen of a house on Hockley Avenue in East Ham.

To speed the drying up she decided to use her garden barbecue, so she lit some wood and when it had stopped smoking she carried it into the kitchen, placing it near the back door.

She then placed the washing around it and left the back door open.

The woman then left the house, leaving her two daughters-in-law and four grandchildren inside. Two of the children were in the living room and two were upstairs asleep.

After she left, one of the occupants closed the back door.

Later, one of the women in the house made a call to a relative saying she felt unwell.

She visited the house and noticed a strange smell and opened the back door and took the barbecue outside. When she re-entered the house one of the children collapsed.

An ambulance was called and two women and four children were taken to hospital. All six now been discharged from hospital following the incident on Wednesday afternoon.

Firefighters ventilated the home before handing the incident over to the police.

Fire chiefs have branded the behaviour dangerous and the London Fire Brigade is urging people to get a carbon monoxide alarm as well as smoke alarms.

Dave Brown, from the London Fire Brigade, said: “In my 28 year career I have never heard of anybody using a barbecue to dry clothes let alone using one indoors.

“Never, ever bring a lit or smouldering barbecue indoors, not only is it a serious fire risk but it also omits carbon monoxide which is a poisonous gas that can kill or seriously injure.”

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