February 21. 2013 10:11PM

Derry councilor describes close call at home

Union Leader Correspondent

DERRY - Town Councilor Phyllis Katsakiores knows firsthand the importance of having a carbon monoxide detector in the home.

"Two Sundays ago, I was coming back from Mass at St. Thomas at six o'clock and when I got home I heard a (beeping sound) and I asked, 'What is that?'" Katsakiores said. "I had a daughter that was there and she said, 'Mom, this thing is starting to ring and it won't stop.'"

Katsakiores called the fire department and told them she had a problem and her carbon monoxide detector would not stop beeping. She was advised to get everyone out of the house and that the fire department would be there soon.

"They went through the house and metered everything, and said it was an exceptionally high amount of carbon monoxide in the house and asked if I had a fireplace or a wood stove," Katsakiores said.

She said she didn't have either, only a furnace. After opening all the windows and putting fans in the house, the carbon monoxide levels began to go down and the firefighters advised Katsakiores to call a furnace repair company.

About an hour later, the furnace company arrived and determined there was a crack in the furnace.

"The carbon monoxide, instead of going up the chimney, was coming into the home," Katsakiores said.

Katsakiores brought up her close call at a recent town council meeting because she said she wanted everyone to know how important it is to have a working carbon monoxide detector in the home.

"I've had one for years, and that is the first time it ever went off," she said. "It's important to have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector in the home. I know it helped me and my family."