Carbon monoxide detector awakens residents, saves lives

The Boulder Fire Department responded to a small fire at an apartment in the 2000 block of Spruce Street at 8:54 a.m. on May 13. The two residents were awakened by a carbon monoxide detector.

The fire was caused by a bathroom fan which had been left running. The residents were able to extinguish the fire by themselves. When firefighters arrived, they made sure the fire was completely out and cleared smoke out of the apartment and attic.

One of the residents’ was taken to the hospital as a precaution to be treated for smoke inhalation. The other resident was not injured.

Boulder Fire Marshal Dave Lowrey says people need to use caution with these types of fans.

“Bathroom fans are not made for continuous use. Boulder Fire Rescue has responded to numerous fires caused by bathroom fans overheating, melting and starting fires. We want to remind everyone to turn off their fans before leaving the house to prevent fires such as these.”

This situation, Lowrey said, is also a good reminder of the value of detectors. The carbon monoxide detector sounded because of the smoke and gases produced by the fire.

“We encourage all Boulder residents to install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in their homes and check them regularly to insure they are working,” Lowrey said. “These devices can help prevent serious injuries and save lives.”