Mum’s poison fumes horror

Elaine Hilton and her daughter, Amber-Louise, five and a half months, who had a narrow escape from carbon monoxide poisoning while Elaine was pregnant.
Elaine Hilton and her daughter, Amber-Louise, five and a half months, who had a narrow escape from carbon monoxide poisoning while Elaine was pregnant.
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A new mum who was almost overcome by poisonous fumes is backing a Doncaster Council campaign to persuade people to be aware of carbon monoxide.

Woodlands woman Elaine Hilton feared she would lose her unborn baby when she was affected by carbon monoxide poisoning.

But Amber-Louise was fine when she was born and is now four-months-old without any ill-effects from the blocked flue of the boiler at her home in Fourth Avenue.

Elaine, aged 39, did not have a CO alarm but when her two cats fell ill at the same time as she was suffering dizziness she guessed something was wrong and firefighters found a high level of the deadly gas.

“I want everyone to know how important it is to have a CO alarm. I didn’t think there could be anything wrong with my boiler because it seemed to be working normally, and I just put the dizziness down to my pregnancy.

“If it hadn’t been for the cats I would never have realised I was in danger and I could have died,” she said.

Doncaster Council has been working with the Doncaster Carbon Monoxide Partnership to raise awareness of the lethal gas.

Carbon monoxide is often referred to as the ‘silent killer’ as it has no colour, taste or smell, meaning installing an audible alarm, that sounds when carbon monoxide is present, is the only way to ensure a household is protected.

It is produced when fuels such as gas, oil, charcoal, coal and wood do not burn completely. The most common cause of this is when an appliance such as a boiler or cooker is installed incorrectly or poorly maintained. Carbon monoxide can also build up when flues, chimneys or vents are blocked.

In Doncaster nearly 300 CO alarms have been handed out.

Mark Baxter, of Doncaster Council’s Strategic Housing Team, who led the project, said: “Unfortunately we are not able to give free alarms to everyone so we encourage all householders to invest in one – it could make the difference between life and death.”