View Full Version : A Christmas Story...

11-27-2013, 06:12 PM
Just thought I’d share with everyone a little story of what happen to me last Christmas…

A little back story
Every year my wife and I and the dog go to my parents house at Lake Almanor, CA. Last year they happened to have one of the biggest snow storms they’ve ever seen in the 20 years living there. They had almost 5 feet of snow if a few days…which is a LOT for them. Usually they get a few inches here and there. We lost power on Christmas Eve and it was out pretty much for the next 3 days. No be deal, they have a wood burning fireplace for heat and the cooking is done by gas. They have a generator that is hardwired to the house that they run every now and then for things like the refrigerator, septic, etc. The house is a 2-story house with the living area and kitchen on the 2nd floor and the garage and family/guest room on the 1st floor.

The morning after Christmas we were all sitting in the Living Room on the main floor just talking. My wife was practically inside the fireplace trying to get warm. Laying on the floor…ill…but that’s pretty typical for her because of her pancreatitis. My Dad was laying in his chair trying to get over an illness he’s had for a week. My Mom was complaining that she felt like she was getting the flu. I was sitting on the couch with a huge headache…probably from all the beer and wine the night before. I went downstairs to drop the kids off at the pool, and on my way back up I felt like my head and chest were going to explode by the time I go to the top of the stairs. Now, I know I’m getting old (43), but I’m not that out of shape. Crap, am I getting the flu along with my Mom? I go back to the Living Room and sit back on the couch. My Dad is sleeping in his chair. My wife is sleeping in front of the fireplace. My Mom is just sitting there looking miserable. Awesome Christmas I’m thinking to myself. I’m 2 minutes away from going downstairs and taking a nap. Then I think to myself, this can’t be…everyone getting sick at the same time. I know two of them were already sick, but still. I decide to go out on the deck and sit down in the freezing cold. 10-15 minutes later I feel 200% better. It’s the house! It’s got to be the house. I go back in and tell everyone they need to go outside and get some fresh air…there something going on in the house. They listen to me and a half hour later everyone is almost back to normal.

After analyzing everything we finally determined that the generator was the cause. My parents have used it in the same way 20-30 times in the past 15 years (push it against the screened garage door, and aim the exhaust outside. It turned out that this freak storm was coming from a “weird” direction than the storms normally come from, so every time we fired it up the wind was blowing the exhaust back in the garage and into the rest of the house. Doh. :o

I think I know what I’m going to be thankful for this Thanksgiving.

11-27-2013, 06:45 PM
That's scary as heck. Good thing you caught onto the issue.

11-27-2013, 06:49 PM
Good thing you figured that one out, lucky to be alive. Chester, California right?

11-27-2013, 07:16 PM
phew - i was glad for the happy ending...

11-27-2013, 07:44 PM
I knew where this was going right away... My mom was very nearly killed by CO poisoning back in the 70's so I am hyper aware of potential CO situations.

Kudos to you for having the presence of mind to go outside!

11-27-2013, 08:09 PM
Same here, half way through reading your story I could tell there was some CO poisoning hap'n
Good to know everyone survived. If you had went down stairs for a quick nap would been over for all four of ya

11-27-2013, 08:24 PM
CO the silent killer. Glad you recognized the warning signs!!

11-27-2013, 09:42 PM
holy cow .. thats scary

I had one similar experience 20+ years ago ... deer camp in Pennsylvania .... we were sleeping in a tent with a propane heater and one of the brain surgeons had put a bunch of tarps on the tent keep out the sleet and keep in the cold ... did i mention how tight he put on the tarps?

Too many beers (luckily) and i had to pee in the middle of the night ... i opened the tent flap and whoosh ... blast of fresh air ... we almost killed ourselves

You had a great message g-Dog ... i'm thankful for not dying in the Allegheny Natl Forest

11-27-2013, 09:51 PM
Wow. Never been in a situation like that. Good work outta you.

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11-27-2013, 11:03 PM
Scary...Had that happen when flying an airplane once...flyin' along, and I started to get a headache with the obvious heater on. Of course we train and are trained to be aware of CO poisoning while flying at altitude. Could have been real bad. Shut off the heater, opened the air vents, and then landed. Turned out to be a cracked muffler shroud (air to air heat exchanger)...CO poisoning is scary for sure...

11-28-2013, 01:29 AM
Very scary.glad everyone on ok.....I seen the title a thought you shot your eye out:)

11-28-2013, 01:47 AM
Wow.. Thanks for the story...
I will be more aware, in future situations.
You never know

11-28-2013, 07:36 AM
Thanks for sharing and it's great to be able to write back. I too was in a similar situation. Headaches etc. The first year we had our cottage I went up north in the winter to seal windows with plastic to help keep the cold and wind out. Used the fireplace for heat. Slept in a snowmobile suit to keep warm. Got up in the morning (thankfully) with the biggest head ache ever. Too close for comfort. Good Lord certainly stepped up there; as with you. Glad to have you with us. We all have much to be thankful for...