Carbon monoxide fumes claimed the life of a 56-year-old man and seriously injured a woman today in a home in East Oak Lane.
Fire Commissioner Lloyd Ayers said a dislodged chimney flue and a blockage where the heater exhaust pipe connected to the chimney caused a backup of the deadly gas inside the home on the 7100 block of North Broad Street.
"It was a completely bad situation," he said.
The death is the first in the city due to carbon monoxide poisoning since 2008, the commissioner said.
The woman was taken first to Albert Einstein Medical Center after medics found her shortly before 5 a.m. and then transferred to the hyperbaric chamber at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Ayers said.
He said that when firefighters and medics responded to a call for fumes at the home their CO monitors went off, indicating a high level of odorless gas inside the house.
They found the woman at the top of the stairs complaining of nausea and dizziness and the man dead in the bathtub.
Ayers said the woman told them that both adults did not feel well on Monday night but she went to bed thinking she was getting sick.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, the most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain, and altered mental status.
Officials recommend homeowners and tenants install carbon monoxide detectors as well as smoke detectors in their homes.
Ayers said the Fire Department has responded to 81 carbon monoxide incidents so far this year.
Last year, they responded to 492 incidents that resulted in 26 people being taken to hospitals for treatment, he said.