A family of four was hospitalized early Thursday morning after being exposed to high carbon monoxide levels in their Methuen, Massachusetts home.
Firefighters responded to the home on West Street at about 3 a.m. after a mother called 911 to say she was having a headache and that her two young children were feeling nauseous.
Authorities said the CO level was over 500 parts per million in the residence — a potentially deadly situation.
The mother, children, and another adult were taken to Lawrence General Hospital for treatment.
Methuen Deputy Fire Chief Dan Donahue said the family had been using a generator after storms earlier in the week knocked out power to the area. That generator was inches away from the family's garage and was slowly causing CO to enter the house.
Donahue also said that the family's carbon monoxide detectors were not working.
"It's amazing that the family is OK, that they actually woke up and were able to call us," Donahue said.
Around the same time, firefighters had to respond to a fire on Bridgham Street after a generator there got too close to Jerome Welch's shed.
"I ran out there, pulled my generator and got the garden house to put the fire out," said Welch.
No injuries were reported, but there was significant damage to the shed.
Fire officials said about 2,000 homes and businesses in Methuen are still without power due to the recent wind storm that left more than 1 million New Englanders in the dark at its peak. Many residents have been relying on generators since then.
Donahue said he understands that it is a struggle without power, but he is warning residents to take safety precautions. He said if you do have a generator, keep it outside your home and to make sure it's at least 10 feet away.
"We talk about it all the time, 'is today going to be the day', you never know what to expect in a situation like this," Donahue said.