FOX 2 - A 4-month-old kitten named Thor is being credited for saving a Farmington Hills family from carbon monoxide poisoning.
On August 30, the Stamper family had a power outage from a summer storm and connected a portable generator to help run their appliances. The garage door accidentally got closed while the generator was running, exposing the family to carbon monoxide gas, according to a release from the fire department.
Thor woke the family's mother, Heidi Stamper, with a screeching cry and was visibly sick. She took the cat outside, saw that his condition improved, but then brought him back inside and soon lost consciousness herself.
The kitten resumed his screeching and alerted the kids, 13-year-old Paige and 11-year-old Quinn, who then were able to get their semi-conscious parents out of the house.
The Farmington Hills Fire Department arrived and transported the family to Beaumont Farmington Hills. Heidi and the children were flown to Promedica Hospital in Toledo for specialized care for carbon monoxide poisoning,
"This is a frightening example of how carbon monoxide can accumulate quickly and potentially be fatal," said Farmington Hill Fire Chief Jon Unruh in a release. "Fortunately, this incident had a positive ending, but we hope all families will learn from the Stampers and keep their generators outside."
Family friends have established a GoFundMe site to help the Stampers with medical expenses, go HERE to learn more or donate.
The Stampers’ home did not have any carbon monoxide detectors, the fire department said. They have now installed several CO alarms, as have all their neighbors. If any residents need help with purchasing or installing a carbon monoxide alarm, they may contact the Farmington Hills Fire Department at 248-871-2800.
The Stampers now want others to learn from their difficult experience. They are helping the Fire Department spread the word that portable generators should only be operated outside and must be placed far away and downwind from windows, doors, and vents.
"The Fire Department reminds everyone that generators should NEVER be used inside homes, garages, basements, sheds, or any other enclosed or partially enclosed spaces," Unruh said. "In this case, using a portable generator in an enclosed garage almost had deadly consequences." Carbon monoxide is tasteless, colorless, odorless, and impossible for human senses to detect. It builds up quickly and lingers for hours, even after generators are turned off.
The Stamper family, photo from GoFundMe