ADT worker save metro Detroit family from carbon monoxide poisoning

Posted at 3:34 PM, Aug 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-15 19:30:57-04

Never ignore your carbon monoxide detectors. That's the message from a Bloomfield Hills family, who almost did just that.

Sue Brodsky thought it was a false alarm when her carbon monoxide detector was  going off.

Back in June, she hired a professional carpet cleaner. Sue thought the fumes from the cleaners triggered the alarm.

"There really is no worry here. I really do think this is a false alarm."

The problem stemmed from the cleaner's van, which was parked their in the driveway with a generator on.

The company was at the house all day but by 3:30pm the carbon monoxide detector started going off, with a house full with her kids and their friends.

The detector is hooked up to their security system, ADT, and a dispatcher called 911.

"I was trying to reduce the chaos in here," she said. "It was loud. It was busy. I just don't want the fire department. I know this is a false alarm."

The cleaners were aware of the carbon monoxide risk, so they kept the garage door mostly closed.

But, by the time the kids came home, they opened the door all the way.

About 25 minutes later, because it was a breezy day, the carbon monoxide got into the house.

ADT Dispatcher Greg Drinnen/ADT dispatcher said, "The sensors do not fail. That one we have to take very seriously."

Drinnen knows there is no such thing as a false alarm when it comes to CO detectors, so he called 911 before calling Sue.

Bloomfield Township Fire Department Capt. Mike Cummings said, "She was pretty insistent that this was a false alarm."

When firefighters arrived, Sue was shocked to see their carbon monoxide monitors going off too.

Cummings added, "We walked through the house, different areas of the house and found carbon monoxide everywhere."

Because of this happy ending, ADT flew Greg up from Tennessee to meet the family and first responders involved.

The company also gave the fire department $10,000 to buy more carbon monoxide detectors.

Sue wants our viewers to learn from her story: what if she didn't listen to the dispatchers warning?

"That's a really terrifying thought," she explained. "I definitely think about that. What if we didn't have the monitors? What if it wasn't monitored by an external company? What if everyone listened to me?"

Fire officials urge customers to get a CO detector and call 911 if it goes off.