Greensboro family escapes carbon monoxide poisoning on Thanksgiving Day thanks to detector

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — Imagine you just finished Thanksgiving dinner when all of a sudden an alarm goes off. It’s your carbon monoxide detector, and you may only have seconds to get out of your home safely.

That was the reality for a Greensboro mother and her three young children this holiday.

“It was like I didn’t even want Thanksgiving no more. It didn’t even feel like — with all that happened, it didn’t even feel like Thanksgiving,” Shaquita Keesee said.

Keesee said she and her kids have been sleeping in the living room since Thanksgiving Day because she’s just too scared to go in the back of her home where the highest levels of carbon monoxide where found.

Greensboro fire officials said had that alarm not gone off, it could’ve been a fatal situation.

“If that detector never would’ve went off, we probably would’ve been in here drowsy like the fire department said,” Keesee said.

Keesee had just finished cooking her Thanksgiving dinner and was getting ready to give her three young boys a bath when an alarm started going off in her home. She immediately called 911.

“She was like, ‘Get your and your kids out of there because it can get to your kids faster,’” Keesee said.

When firefighters arrived…

“They did find significant readings of gas inside the residence and elevated levels of carbon monoxide also. So, they were able to ventilate the structure,” Greensboro Fire Department Deputy Chief Dwayne Church said.

Carbon monoxide is known as the silent killer because you can’t see or smell it. High levels of it were found at the back of her apartment.

Keesee did show some levels of carbon monoxide poisoning in her system — luckily her three sons did not.

While an apartment maintenance worker told Keesee the source was likely from her gas stove, she’s not convinced.

“He said, with the heat being on it pulls it. But like I said, ‘I don’t turn my heat on, even in the wintertime, I still don’t turn my heat on. I may turn it on and turn it back off. But when I’m cooking because I know that stove is a gas stove, I don’t turn it on,’” she said.

Fire officials are hoping this Thanksgiving Day scare serves as a warning.

“We want our residence to be aware that they have got to have a carbon monoxide alarm in their house if they have any type of gas appliance,” Church said.

Fire officials have not confirmed what source caused the excessive levels of carbon monoxide in her apartment.

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