Eight people in Shakopee were taken to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning early Tuesday morning.
The Shakopee Fire Department responded to a townhome on the 1500 block of Coneflower Lane after the family called 911 when three of them were feeling sick.
The eight family members were taken to Hennepin County Medical Center early Tuesday morning, with Shakopee spokesperson Amanda McKnight telling Bring Me The News everyone was "conscious and alert but they did have mid-range levels of carbon monoxide in their blood."
What caused the high levels of carbon monoxide is under investigation. Fire officials could not find any CO monitors in their home, McKnight said.
Shakopee Fire Department is reminding residents to regularly test their carbon monoxide detectors and change the batteries at least once per year.
Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness or death when breathed in. Symptoms include headache, nausea, dizziness, vomiting, confusion and tiredness.
CO can be caused by several things, including portable generators, heating systems, fumes from cars and other similar items.
In Minnesota, unintentional CO poisonings lead to an average of 14 deaths per year, the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) says, with most occurring during the winter months.
Eleven people died from CO poisoning in 2019, the most recent data available, which is down from the 14 people who died in 2018 and 2017, according to MDH. In 2019, 48 people were hospitalized for CO poisoning, down from 53 hospitalizations in 2018. There were 37 hospitalizations in 2017.
The incident in Shakopee early Tuesday may be the second CO incident in a week in Minnesota.
Officials in Moorhead are investigating after seven people, ages 5-37, were found dead in a home Saturday evening. While an official cause of death hasn't been determined, dispatch records show the Moorhead Fire Department responded to a call for a carbon monoxide detector check at the home just before 1 a.m., which was "several hours after the bodies were discovered," according to Forum News Service.
Unintentional CO poisoning is almost always preventable, with authorities reminding people to make sure fuel-burning appliances and heating devices and properly installed, vented and maintained. And people should never use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove or other gas or charcoal-burning device inside your home, garage, near a window or inside a fish house.
Minnesota law requires CO alarms in all single and multi-family Minnesota residences within 10 feet of each room used for sleeping. Officials recommend testing CO detectors in the fall and winter — or whenever you turn your furnace on for the year to reduce the risk of CO poisoning. It's also recommended to inspect combustion appliances regularly to ensure they're working properly.
The Shakopee Fire Department has additional CO tips here.