Hartford man dies from carbon monoxide poisoning

HARTFORD, S.D. — Authorities say a Hartford man passed away from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning on Monday.

According to the Minnehaha County Sheriff’s Office, Dustin Patch, 38, was found dead in his garage.

It’s believed that the carbon monoxide came from a portable generator that Patch was using to run a sump pump in his home. This was following power outages caused by the recent storm.

Officials are reminding the public to use portable generators in a well-ventilated area and ensure carbon monoxide detectors are set up and in working order.

The death comes a day after a carbon monoxide detector saved the lives of residents in a 4-unit Spearfish apartment over the weekend.

The incident happened early Sunday morning when the apartment’s occupants were awakened by the carbon monoxide detector’s alarm.

After being called to the scene, the Spearfish Fire Department found a harmful build up of gas in all four of the apartments.

Authorities say a malfunctioning furnace was spreading the CO throughout the building.

According to Fire Chief Mark Sachara, “This was a close call and the residents are fortunate to have had a working detector. Lives were saved because the detector did its job.”

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that’s produced through the incomplete burning of carbon fuels like wood, coal, oil, charcoal, natural gas, kerosene and propane for vehicles, cooking and heating.

Even new hot water heaters and furnaces can pose a risk for CO leaks.

It only takes a small amount of CO gas to be hazardous or lethal. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, headaches, extreme fatigue, upset stomach and vomiting.

It’s recommended to have a CO detector on each floor level and outside sleeping areas.

Detectors should not be placed right by water heaters and furnaces because a small amount of unused natural gas can be released during normal start up of these appliances. This release can cause the detector to sound off unnecessarily.

Both carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors should be properly maintained and tested regularly.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News