Carbon monoxide poisoning house to be inspected

Richard Harris and Liz Boult Richard Harris and Liz Boult dragged the two boys out of the house

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Housing inspectors are carrying out an investigation at a cottage in Cornwall where a family were poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Liz Boult, her sons - Charlie Prewett, seven, and Ollie Prewitt, four - and Ms Boult's partner, Richard Harris, were poisoned at the privately-rented home near Launceston.

They survived but fire crews said they were "minutes from death".

Cornwall Council said its staff were checking appliances at the property.

Flue tests

The four managed to get out of their home in the early hours of last Wednesday after being alerted by barking from their pet dog.

They had only moved in two weeks previously.

The silent killer

Carbon monoxide alarm
  • Carbon monoxide is released when a fuel burns with insufficient oxygen - incomplete combustion
  • It kills about 50 people in the UK every year

Source: BBC Health

They were taken to Plymouth for treatment for inhaling the colourless, odourless gas, which reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen.

Charlie and Mr Harris were further treated in a hyperbaric chamber at the nearby Diving Diseases Research Centre (DDRC).

A wood-burning stove at the property in Canworthy Water was thought to have produced the potentially lethal CO levels, fire officers said.

Cornwall Council said staff from its private sector housing department would test the stove, as well as the cottage's boiler and flue.

Housing manager Joe Roberts said the inspection team would make the landlord remove any hazards.

The landlord has not been available for comment.

Mrs Boult said she was taking advice from the charity CO-Awareness.

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