Carbon monoxide alarm alerts sleeping family to ‘silent killer’

LOCUST, N.C. — Carbon monoxide nearly took the lives of an Oakboro couple, the wife’s 92-year-old mother, and a puppy but an alarm installed in their home alerted them to the “silent killer,” so they managed to escape.

Curtis and Anita Barbee, their mother, Virginia, were using a gas fireplace to heat the home on Dec. 17 following a power outage. They were fast asleep when the deadly carbon monoxide fumes triggered emergency signals in the home security system and a CPI Security operator dispatched Stanly County emergency crews to the home.

On Thursday, the Barbees had the chance to express their immense gratitude to the CPI operator, Kaysen Malcolm, and first responders at the West Stanly Fire Department in Locust.

“We are fortunate,” Curtis Barbee said.

CPI also presented the fire department with a $1,000 check, which will go toward replacing old gear.

Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

VIDEO: Carbon Monoxide: What you need to know

Jonathan Lowe

Jonathan Lowe, wsoctv.com

Jonathan is a reporter for WSOC-TV.