When you naturally do heroic things for a living, it’s nothing to bring that kind of fortitude and determination with you in your personal life. That helps explain how an off-duty firefighter in North Carolina can save dozens of people who were suffering carbon monoxide poisoning at a local restaurant in recent days.
As reported by The Associated Press, more than 30 people were treated by local ambulance teams after demonstrating symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning at the River Ridge Tap House in Clemmons.
The responding agency, Forsyth County EMS, told local Fox8 that patrons complained of experiencing headaches, nausea and vomiting. Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless, so it has often been referred to as a silent killer.
Of those who complained about becoming ill, 14 were taken to hospitals, while the rest were treated at the scene with oxygen and released.
Steve Williams, Lewisville Fire Department’s assistant chief, said gas began leaking in the restaurant due to a malfunction in the business’ heating system. He said Lonnie Wimmer, an off-duty firefighter dining at the restaurant as well noticed that patrons around him were becoming ill, so he called the fire department.
“People were starting to act a little weird,” Wimmer said. “Heads hurting, people holding their belly going to the bathroom a lot.
“Some of the adults were acting kind of nauseated, sick,” he said.
At the scene, fire officials confirmed that carbon monoxide levels were about six times the normal amount.