Three people are lucky to be alive after a gas-powered generator exhausted dangerous levels of carbon monoxide into a home.
"I tried to save myself. My god, my god. I just fell down," said 53-year-old Christoval Janopol, whose home on Garfield Street N. filled up with the odourless gas Sunday night.
Emergency responders were called about an unrelated matter to a house on Garfield Street N. south of Notre Dame Avenue, in the city's West End, around 10:30 p.m.
When they arrived, they found the house filled with such high levels of carbon monoxide, the gas could have caused death in under an hour.
Three people were taken out and treated in hospital.
A spokesperson with the fire paramedic service confirmed the carbon monoxide was caused by a gas-powered generator being operated inside the house.
'Start[ed] getting sick'
A woman in hospital clothes was seen entering the home Monday afternoon and told CBC News she lives there. She declined to give her name.
"It was scary," the woman said. "We're alive, so we're fine."
Janopol has lived in the home for two years. He said he lost his job in the summer shortly after he was hit by a car. When he could no longer afford to pay the bills, electricity was cut off to the home.
About a month ago, Janopol says a friend and his friends' girlfriend moved into the home.
On Sunday, the pair switched on a gas-powered generator for about five hours to warm up the house. Eventually all three people started to feel ill, Janopol said.
"I start[ed] getting sick," he said. "I figured out it might be the generator."
Janopol said he felt dizzy and fell down just after his friend called 911.
"They picked me up there on the floor," he said.
Janopol spent Sunday night in the hospital and says power has been restored to his home.
Hydro won't cut electricity in winter
Manitoba Hydro spokesperson Bruce Owen confirmed electricity was disconnected in early June.
He said hydro doesn't automatically disconnect gas or electricity to homes between Oct. 1 and May 14.
"If during this time the account becomes delinquent, Manitoba Hydro may install a load limiter on the electric service which limits the capacity of the service to 15 amps," Owen wrote in a statement.
Limiting the electricity output to such homes is meant to ensure homeowners with delinquent accounts have enough energy to keep the furnace going during the colder months of the year, Owen said.
Owen added that Hydro is currently working out a way to have Janopol's bill resolved.