Carbon monoxide (CO), a potential killer, is produced by all fuel-burning appliances in the home. Until recently, there was no sure method of warning of dangerous levels present in the home. Now, readily available and affordable carbon monoxide detectors routinely provide such a warning and have been credited with saving lives. It appears that the problem has been solved. Why, then, are fire departments across the country so concerned about the carbon monoxide issue?
The call was for a basement fire in a three-story brick multiple dwelling. The first-in engine transmitted the signal for a working fire. Two additional engines and a truck were dispatched. Engine 8 arrived third. The intense heat prevented the first two engines from moving into the basement. Engulfed in the hot, black, billowing smoke, they applied water into the opened exterior cellar door.