• Last modified 931 days ago (Dec. 1, 2021)


Leaky vents force family to evacuate

Staff writer

A Hillsboro family was temporarily barred from their home Monday evening after a carbon monoxide detector sounded an alarm.

“There are lots of problems with the venting system,” Hillsboro fire chief and building inspector Ben Steketee said afterward.

The bedrooms of the house in the 400 block of S. Washington St. — one on the ground level and the other upstairs — had the highest levels of the deadly gas, Steketee said.

He said the family already had evacuated when firefighters arrived. Firefighters disconnected natural gas service.

Steketee said he barely could reach the house’s basement because a stairwell was missing steps.

Someone had worked on the heating system Sunday, but it was not a professional heating and cooling system installer, Steketee said.

“People always try to save money, but in this case, it kind of backfired,” he said.

Steketee said a heating and air conditioning professional would inspect the house with him Tuesday and make repairs.

“I want to go over what repairs need to be done and get the repairs done,” he said. “I’m going to inspect again before they are allowed back in.”

Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. It is produced when gas is burned and fumes are not properly vented. It can cause sudden illness and death.

Steketee recommended all families have a carbon monoxide detector in the home.

Last modified Dec. 1, 2021