“The closest I’ve felt to death”: Spokane Valley man says carbon monoxide detectors saved his life

“The closest I’ve felt to death”: Spokane Valley man says carbon monoxide detectors saved his life
Copyright 2019 KXLY.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without prior permission.

Little did Mike Dempsey know, his home was taking a serious toll on his health. Now, he’s hoping you can learn from his story — and that it won’t take a near-death experience to convince you to install a potentially life-saving tool in your home.

“I feel very lucky because it was a life-changing experience,” he said. “It’s, I would say, the closest that I’ve felt to death.”

Earlier this month, Mike collapsed in his home and was rushed to the hospital.

“They said I didn’t have a stroke, I might’ve had a TIA, which is a mini stroke or a seizure,” he said.

Paramedics suggested he buy carbon monoxide detectors for his home. So, he followed their advice and 11 days later, he was glad he did. When he got home from church on the 20th, Mike said the detectors “were going off like crazy.”

The detectors, he said, showed there were deadly levels of carbon monoxide filling the house, as high as 250 parts per million according to Avista, almost triple what’s considered dangerous at 100 parts per million. Mike and his wife were able to escape.

A broken furnace in the basement was to blame.

“You know if [the detectors] weren’t working, and they had continued to have that prolonged exposure, we could’ve had a completely different outcome with this incident,” said Spokane Valley firefighter Brendan Burke, who responded that day.

Mike said if it weren’t for the detectors, he wouldn’t be here to share his story today.

“I had this horrible experience and then I went right back in the same house, and was exposed to carbon monoxide for another 11 days, potentially, you know,” he said.

Burke said you should have working carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of your house — and that your detectors are only as good as the batteries in them.

Get your weather forecast from people that actually live in your community. We update with short, easy-to-use video forecasts you can watch on your phone every day. Download the iOS or Android app here.