Woman and 2 small children found unconscious in Sacramento apartment with gas-powered generator

A woman and two small children were hospitalized Tuesday in critical condition from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at a Sacramento apartment where a gasoline-powered generator was being used indoors.

The woman and the children, of ages 3 to 7 years old, were found unconscious inside the apartment in the 7800 block of Center Parkway, said Capt. Justin Sylvia, a spokesman for the Sacramento Fire Department.

The carbon monoxide incident was first reported just before 3 p.m. in an apartment complex in the Valley Hi/North Laguna neighborhood, just south of Mack Road and west of Highway 99.

Sylvia said authorities first received a call from the woman, who appears to be either the mother or grandmother of the children, reporting that the two children were feeling ill.

Firefighters arrived at the apartment within a few minutes and found all three of them unconscious. Sylvia said it appeared the woman who called for help became unconscious in the short time before firefighters arrived.

Sylvia said firefighters entered the apartment and immediately spotted the running gas-powered generator inside the home.

He said firefighters had a carbon monoxide detector that measured the carbon monoxide levels in the apartment at 350 parts per million; anything above 50 parts per million is life-threatening.

Firefighters determined the apartment did not have any electricity, Sylvia said, and investigators were still trying to determine why the home didn’t have any power. He said the Sacramento Police Department has taken over the investigation due to the potential of child endangerment charges.

Sylvia said Tuesday’s incident is another disturbing reminder why residents should never use a gas-powered generator inside a home. Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, he said, and the first sign of carbon monoxide poisoning is people becoming tired before they potentially lose consciousness and breathe in more toxic fumes.