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1251 Gallons of gas
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Wednesday, Nov 29, 2006 from Los Angeles, California
Posted: Nov 29, 2006 | 547 words | 1 Comments
I’ve needed to catch up on this story for a long time. At first I wasn’t sure if I would put it on the site. It took a long time for me to swallow the whole experience as it is. This story takes me back to my last night in White Bear Lake, MN.
It was the evening of September 29th, my last night staying with the Vukelich family. It was between 10 and 11 p.m. and I was ready to hit the bed for the night. I had brushed my teeth and headed down stairs with Linda to print off directions for my next day of driving. Emily and Anna were already in bed. Linda and I noticed an unusual smell in the basement, and very potent. Our first guess was that it was natural gas. We all tried to find a source of it, and nothing. From there we called 911 and they advised us to get out of the house immediately. After a little wait a police officer, fireman, and the local energy guy all came to the house. After being in the house they told us immediately that it was carbon monoxide.
We were also told more about the dangers. Essentially, we were told that if we had gone to sleep (remember the girls were already in bed) that we would have never woke up. It could have been as little as another hour in the house with five people passed out and never waking up again, the levels of CO were getting that high and fast. The unease that I had with the news was like nothing I’ve ever experience.
The cause of the CO was basically three things. First off, newer built houses are built so tight that they have no breathability. Secondly, they had a faulty water heater that they weren’t aware of. I don’t remember the specifics, but it was burning way too hot without bringing any fresh air into the house. Thirdly, upstairs the fireplace was roaring, sucking all of the air out of the house. The energy guy told us that the only reason we could smell the CO is the levels were so high that it was burning what was already burnt in the air. There was no air left in the house to breathe. We opened every window and door in the house (on a night when there were flurries in the air) and let the house vent out until 2 a.m. At that time the levels were back down to zero.
To be only four states in at the time and experience this was difficult to swallow. And even harder was going to sleep that night, knowing what just happened and the thought of not waking up the following morning. Needless to say I didn’t sleep well that night. After going to bed at about 2 a.m. I had to get up at 7 a.m. for a radio interview and then another long drive after that. It’s been a real life experience and makes you appreciate each breath a little more. It’s a testimony of the epic nature of this trip, the things I encounter as experiences of life that can never been anticipated.
Comment by dad
From baraga, MI
What Justin is not saying because of his modesty, is that the hostess credited God for putting Justin there at that time. If he had not been there, they would not have been up that late or have gone down stairs to discover it.