• 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.
An elderly Westland woman dropped a cigarette in her front living room Monday, sparking a blaze that killed her husband and put her in a local hospital’s intensive care unit.
Westland police and fire officials are not releasing the couple’s names but said the wife, 79, is in stable but critical condition at Detroit Receiving Hospital. Her husband, 80, was pronounced dead from smoke inhalation at another hospital.
The woman was unable to pick up the cigarette once it dropped around 6:30 p.m. Monday in the 34000 block of Majestic Street.
Several 9-1-1 calls were made and arriving police found the home engulfed in smoke and flames.
They peered through a sliding glass door to see feet about 20 feet away.
Police entered the home and dragged the woman to safety. They also dragged her husband away from the home, but he was already unconscious.
“(Still) there is no question that the actions of these responding Westland Police Officers are truly heroic,” Police Chief Jeff Jedrusik said. “This is just another example of how our police officers and firefighters put their lives on the line every single day to help others.”
An unnamed officer sustained several cuts but did not require hospital treatment.
Fire Marshal Kelly Eggers said about 25 Inkster, Garden City and Westland firefighters responded to the blaze. A challenge was that someone, perhaps with the best of intentions, had knocked out the home’s windows.
“Ventilation comes into play," Eggers said. “When you start punching out the windows, that’s where the fire is heading. They should not have been punched out.”
He said the home’s structure is sound but there was extensive interior damage because of the blaze.
Both fire and police officials said they are mourning the loss of the elderly man and praying for his wife’s recovery.