Mormon missionaries save dozens from carbon monoxide

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An apartment building filled with toxic gas from a faulty water heater this weekend and, if not for two women, they may not have. The two women were the only ones in the building with a carbon monoxide detector.

Sister Adams and Sister Rambert of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints, moved to the Cambridge Square apartments in Southfield earlier this year to do missionary work. But they say God used them a different way, when their carbon monoxide detector went off early Sunday morning.

"We have this emergency book and we went and just read through it and it said, if it ever goes off, it's not a drill, to call 911," Sister Adams said.

They did just that, then the young women, who normally knock on doors to witness, started knocking on doors to save lives. They began to realize, their detector was the only one in the building.

"No one else had the detector, so we were very grateful everyone was able to get out safely," Sister Rambert said.

Firefighters arrived and evacuated about 20 people from the building, who were starting to suffer the affects. Firefighters also tell FOX 2 that the toxic gas came from the hot water heater in the basement.

"A couple little girls and a couple of the adults had to go into the ambulance and put on a breathing mask," Sister Adams said. "Some people had headaches and a little bit of nausea, but everyone seemed to be okay."

Emergency responders say carbon monoxide levels were dangerously high at about 100 parts per million. Some people tested positive for elevated levels. But everyone survived.

Apartment managers say they're now in the process of installing carbon monoxide detectors in every unit of every building. They're also inspecting every hot water heater to reassure their residents. Now that the scene is clear and all is safe, Sister Adams and Sister Rambert reflect on how lucky they were to be in the right place at the right time.

"A lot of people kept asking the firefighters, if they hadn't called, we would all be dead, right? And they said, yes, you'd be dead. It's mercy from the Lord," Sister Adams said.

"I don't think in the moment we realized how serious it was. But I'm grateful that we were protected and that everyone is safe," Sister Rambert said.