• Service all heating systems and all gas-, oil- or coal-burning appliances by a technician annually.
• Install a battery-operated and electric-powered carbon monoxide detector in your home and check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall. If the detector sounds, leave your home immediately and call 911.
• Contact a doctor if you believe you have carbon monoxide poisoning.
• Do not use gas-powered devices such as a generator, grill or stove inside your home, basement or near a near a window or door. Generators should be operated more than 15 feet from the home.
• Do not run any gas-powered motor inside a closed structure, such as a garage.
A house in Canton Township's Cherry Hill Village neighborhood was completely destroyed by a fire that began the afternoon of May 20.
The fire on Coolidge Street, in the area of Ridge Road and Cherry Hill, was reported just before 5 p.m., Canton Fire Department deputy director Chris Stoecklein said. A male homeowner, the only person at the house when the fire broke out, was treated for smoke inhalation at a local hospital and released.
The fire remains under investigation, but Stoecklein said it apparently started in the attached garage in an area where the battery for a motorized bicycle was being charged.
The resident told firefighters he had gone to the garage to check on the battery when he saw the fire and left the house, Stoecklein said. The man was able to take his two dogs and one cat out with him.
The first firefighters on the scene arrived in less than four minutes, Stoecklein said, but the fire was fully engaged at the house. "It's a total loss," he said.
Firefighters took a defensive approach to fighting the blaze, Stoecklein said, protecting the houses on either side of the fire. The fire brought crews from all three Canton stations, he said, plus some off-duty firefighters who were in the area and stopped by to help out. Canton did not seek help from nearby departments, however. Firefighters were on the scene for over three hours.
Stoecklein urged people to use caution when charging any battery — from a lithium battery for a cellphone to a vehicle battery — and should do so in a well-ventilated place and monitor the process regularly.
"It's always a hazard charging anything. ... You can certainly minimize those hazards," he said.