Detroit firefighters rescue family, puppy from home filled with carbon monoxide

Posted at 7:15 PM, Jan 17, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-17 23:43:47-05

DETROIT (WXYZ) — "It's what you would imagine death would feel like," said Eillennia Gray-Woods who nearly succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning Tuesday afternoon along with her two-year-old daughter, the child's father, and her sister.

"It felt like our bodies were deteriorating from the inside out," Eillennia said from her hospital bed with her two-year-old daughter nearby.

The mother and daughter are hospitalized together at a Toledo Hospital. The child's father Edward Stephenson is recovering in the same hospital while Eillennia's sister remained at St. John Hospital in the Detroit area.

Each of them began experiencing signs of carbon monoxide poisoning late Monday but thought they were just sick with a cold or virus. Even the family's new puppy had become ill.

Eillennia said it started with migraines and vomiting. She also experienced vision problems.

HyDeia Gray-Woods, Eillennia's sister, thought she picked up a virus from her work as a chef in a downtown venue.

"I just wrote it off as maybe I caught something from someone at work because it's the winter-time, you know, people are sick and still trying to go to work," said HyDeia, speaking from her hospital bed.

"I was so worried about my sister and my niece because they are little people. And my niece is only two, she hasn't even tasted life," HeDeia added.

Detroit firefighters were able to determine that the family and their puppy were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning and rushed all of them, including their new eight-week-old puppy to the hospital.

A volunteer with A ReJoyceful Animal Rescue happened to be working at the hospital when they came in and knew the puppy, named Hinata, also needed to see an emergency veterinarian.

The family is grateful Hinata is receiving the care she needs.

"I'm really thankful for that because I really just got her six days ago as an emotional support animal for myself," HyDeia told 7 Action News.

7 Action News had tried to contact the family's landlord to find out how old the furnace is and what sort of problems it may have had, but he has not responded.

The sisters said they were surprised to find out that what they think is a carbon monoxide detector was not working. They now urge everyone to make sure they have one in working order.

"I feel like that is the most important thing," HyDeia said.

It's also important to recognize the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning and ways to prevent it. Click here for helpful information on prevention and the symptoms to watch for to keep you and your loved ones safe.