Police chief and family lucky to be alive after carbon monoxide scare

Posted at 10:04 PM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 22:22:45-05

LAKE ORION, Mich. (WXYZ) — A family is speaking out and warning others about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning and the real dangers it poses inside your home.

It happened to the family of Auburn Hills Police Chief Jeff Baker. It's a silent, tasteless, odorless gas that can kill you in seconds. For Baker's family, they came all too close to losing their lives when the gas traveled from their furnace and started filling their home within minutes.

"We can’t even imagine how different this could have been," Jeff said.

It happened in the blink of an eye.

"It’s scary to think about that," he said. "This gas was in this house, you can’t smell it and there’s no indication it’s going on.Had it been a day before, and we would have likely slept in for three or four more hours, we would have likely been dead."

It happened in the early morning hours two weeks ago. Michele Baker was getting ready for work when she felt something wasn’t right.

"I was so disoriented that I kept running into the walls and falling down," Michele said. "Luckily, he heard me and got up, opened the door and he said I collapsed."

Within seconds, Jeff started feeling nauseous and disorientated.

"Something is happening to me at the time I didn’t know what it was," Jeff said. "At the time, I thought it was because I just seen my wife collapse and it was a reaction to that."

The chief sent his daughter to Home Depot to get carbon monoxide detectors. When they came back, the numbers were high.

"We put the batteries in and they immediately started going up higher and higher and higher," Jeff said.

The family went to the hospital and was given oxygen. However, Michele had high levels of carbon monoxide in her body so she needed further treatment.

"They called poison control and I was transferred to another hospital to be put in a hyperbaric chamber," she said.

Now the family looks back on their close encounter with death, and are grateful they're all OK.

"If we had (the detectors) in here, this would have been a whole different story," Jeff said. "It would have alerted us hours sooner and we would have safely got out of here."

Chief Baker says it’s important if you don’t have a carbon monoxide detector in your home to get one immediately – it can save your life.