Kearns family recovering after carbon monoxide exposure

Posted at 4:38 PM, Mar 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-14 20:26:33-04

KEARNS, Utah - A Kearns family is recovering Thursday after being exposed to carbon monoxide.

The Burgener family consider themselves lucky to be alive in a situation that could have been much worse.

"It's very scary, very scary. We could've not woken up," Mary Burgener said. "I could've not woken up and my kids could've not woken up."

The family describes feeling sick - headaches and nausea - on Wednesday.

"I was smelling gas and from what I understand now is that our furnace or our boiler was not burning as efficient as it should have been, which pretty much saved our lives. Because if I wouldn't have smelled it, I wouldn't have thought anything about it and you know went on with our day," Mary said.

Carbon monoxide is known as the "silent killer" because it can't be seen, smelled or tasted, and if you breathe it in, the results can be deadly.

"The poisoning of carbon monoxide is very complicated. There's an initial reduction in oxygen levels and profound enough that it can result in unconsciousness or even death," said Dr. Lindell Weaver.

After surviving the incident, the Burgeners want to stress the importance of owning a carbon monoxide detector.

"Check your carbon monoxide detectors," Mary said. "If you don't have them, purchase them. It's worth it."