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Six Hospitalised By BBQ Fumes
A family from Hertfordshire who brought a barbeque inside a conservatory during the Diamond Jubilee holiday have told Heart they didn't realise it could have killed them.
Six people had to go to hospital after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning at a house in Hitchin on the evening of Bank Holiday Monday 4 June 2012. One of them - a man in his 50s - had collapsed.
Steve Marshall, who was another of the six people taken ill, told us the barbeque was nearly out when it was decided to bring it inside to keep the family warm.
He's told us the carbon monoxide - a gas which is colourless and odourless - had a big effect on those in the house.
"Everyone was sort of gasping for breath, or laying down in a really bad way," he said.
"Looking back, it was pretty stupid, but just the dying embers of a barbeque. You wouldn't think it, but six people could have died quite easily.
"You read a lot about people dying, leaving the gas on overnight and waking up dead but just dying embers by the door, with the door to the conservatory into the house open, you wouldn't think that could cause six deaths."
Paramedics from the East of England Ambulance Service were called to Gosmore Road at 10.59pm. They had received reports a man in his 50s had collapsed and five other people had fallen ill.
All six people were taken to the Lister Hospital in Stevenage.
A spokeswoman for the East of England Ambulance Service said: "Unfortunately at this time of year we do start to see incidents relating to the use of charcoal barbecues and want to take this opportunity to emphatically warn people to use them safely and properly.
"Last July we were called to a woman who sadly died after inhaling carbon monoxide fumes from a barbecue in her tent in Norfolk and we do not want to see a repeat of that tragedy.
"Please make absolutely sure your barbecue is used and stored, even after the heat has died down, in a clear open space to ensure enough ventilation."
The head of the East of England Ambulance Service has told Heart services at weekends are not good enough and need to improve.
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