Local firefighter saves patrons from carbon monoxide poisoning at restaurant

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LEWISVILLE, NC-- Lonnie Wimmer, a firefighter with Lewisville Fire Department, was at River Ridge Taphouse in Clemmons on Saturday night when after about an hour and a half into dinner, he noticed something strange.

"People were starting to act a little weird,” Wimmer said. “Heads hurting, people holding their belly going to the bathroom a lot."

They were all symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

"Some of the adults were acting kind of nauseated, sick,” he said.

Wimmer called the fire department right away.

Fire officials quickly found high levels of carbon monoxide in the restaurant.

"We identified the most likely source to be a natural gas heating system," said Lewisville Fire Department Assistant Chief Steve Williams.

Fire officials say more than 30 people from the restaurant showed symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It was a scary situation that Wimmer says could have been a lot worse if first responders didn't act quickly.

"I was happy that we were there,” he said. “That we were able to get everybody out."

As a reward, Wimmer got to walk in Lewisville's Christmas parade instead of having to work his typical shift.