ST. TAMMANY PARISH, La. — St. Tammany Fire officials said nine people were taken to the hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning overnight Monday.
The individuals were affected by carbon monoxide after using a generator in a garage, officials said. Their conditions are not yet known.
Fire crews also responded to a person who was flash burned while refueling a generator.
Two families were displaced Monday night after a generator in between their homes caught on fire and spread to their houses. No one was injured in the fires.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, officials have emphasized generator safety as almost all of the New Orleans metro area is without power and generators are in widespread use.
State officials are warning residents to follow generator safety tips:
- Always follow manufacturer instructions when setting up a generator.
- Never use a generator inside your home or garage.
- Only use a generator outside in a well-ventilated area.
- Place your generator at least 20 feet away from your home.
- Double-check that the exhaust is pointed away from any doors or vents.
It’s important to take precautions when operating a generator because they produce carbon monoxide gas. Breathing in too much carbon monoxide could cause fainting or death. According to the CDC, more than 20,000 Americans visit the emergency room and more than 400 die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning each year.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are often flu-like and include:
- Chest pain
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