Off-duty firefighter detects carbon monoxide, saves 30 at restaurant

Firefighter Lonnie Wimmer said he noticed restaurant patrons showing symptoms of nausea, headaches and chest pain

By FireRescue1 Staff

CLEMMONS, N.C. — A firefighter’s “spidey” senses came to the rescue last weekend when he saved 30 people at a restaurant.

Lewisville firefighter Lonnie Wimmer was at a dinner party Dec. 10 when he noticed guests were showing symptoms of nausea, headaches and chest pain, reported CBS

“People started to act weird,” Wimmer said.

Wimmer contacted his fire department to check on the restaurant. Fire officials measured the carbon monoxide in the restaurant and found high levels. The source was later found to be a malfunctioning heating unit that was releasing gas into the restaurant.

“I was happy we were there, that we were able to get everybody out,” Wimmer told the News Observer

Thirty people were evaluated and at least 16 were transported to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning. 

“CO is truly the ‘silent killer’ because you can’t detect it — you can’t smell it,” Assistant Fire Chief Steve Williams said. “Or you wait until you start getting sick, flu-like symptoms."

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