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DL teacher injured: Close call with carbon monoxide

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Perham Minnesota 222 2nd Avenue SE 56573

A rural Detroit Lakes resident was taken to the hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday morning.

According to Detroit Lakes Assistant Fire Chief Dave Baer, a woman later identified as Detroit Lakes High School vocal music teacher Kathy Larson was taken to the hospital after passing out from carbon monoxide poisoning.

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Baer said that the fire department was called to the rural Detroit Lakes home to check for carbon monoxide poisoning after Larson had already been taken to the hospital.

When he used his detector to check for carbon monoxide, the results were startling, Baer said.

"My detector said it (the carbon monoxide level) was at 771 parts per million," he said, adding that anything over 10 parts per million is considered serious.

Baer said that the worst case he had seen prior to that morning had been in the 300-400 parts per million range; the level of carbon monoxide present in Larson's home that morning would be enough to cause death "within a couple of hours."

Baer noted the carbon monoxide most likely came from the home's heating system; calls for suspected carbon monoxide are becoming "more and more common" this fall, he added.

"It's a combination of people not having carbon monoxide detectors and furnaces being turned on for the first time this fall," he said.

"Our (the fire department's) recommendation is to get those CO detectors installed," Baer added.

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