Off-Duty Firefighter Saves Dozens of Lives After Noticing Gas Leak in Restaraunt
Sometimes firefighters fight fires, other times they notice gas leaks.
Off-duty firefighter Lonnie Wimmer saved a dozen lives – possibly more – after recognizing the symptoms caused by carbon monoxide at a restaurant in Clemmons, NC.
Although some people were hospitalized, there were no fatalities.
Carbon monoxide is colorless and odorless. Early symptoms of poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting. Exposure to the gas can kill you.
Wimmer was at a friend’s birthday party at the River Ridge Taphouse on Saturday night, December 10, when he realized something was wrong.
“People were starting to act a little weird,” he told North Carolina television station WGHP.
Around him, people were holding their heads or running to the bathroom frequently. After he too began feeling nauseous, he notified the Forsyth County Fire Department. Emergency personnel rushed over and the restaurant was evacuated.
Apparently, the levels of carbon monoxide spiked to six times the normal amount due to a faulty heating unit, officials said. Detectors for the deadly gas aren’t required by law and this restaurant, like many, didn’t have one.
31 people were treated by Forsyth County EMS on the scene, and 14 agreed to be hospitalized for further examination.
According to River Ridge Taphouse manager Dawn Vanorden, the leak was fixed and they are back open for business.
This quick-thinking firefighter proves that knowing the signs for carbon monoxide poisoning can come in handy.