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With Cold Weather, Fire Officials Warn About Carbon Monoxide

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As the temperature drops, authorities are warning people to watch out for carbon monoxide poisoning. The invisible, odorless gas is produced when fuel burns, and it can be lethal.

With more people staying indoors and trying to stay warm, emergency responders say they're seeing an uptick in the number of people getting sick.

The D.C. Fire Department says dozens of District residents have been taken to hospitals over the past several weeks because of possible carbon monoxide poisoning. The latest incident: Early Sunday morning at an apartment complex in Northeast D.C., Fire spokesman Pete Piringer says, three people were hospitalized after a faulty furnace caused dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the building.

"This should set off an alarm for everybody, raise some awareness that, this time of year, it's important that people pay attention to these things," Piringer says.

Piringer says the fire department is now responding to two or three carbon monoxide calls a day. The solution, he says, is simple: install a carbon monoxide detector. Piringer says the fire department will bring one to your home or apartment. Just dial 311 -- the city's non-emergency, service-request line.

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