A Quebec City family managed to summon emergency help Friday morning before being overwhelmed by carbon-monoxide poisoning.
The victims were overcome by fumes after someone left a car running in a garage adjacent to the home in the city’s Charlesbourg district, officials said.
Ambulance technicians arrived around 7 a.m. Inside, they found a couple in their 50s, their two young children and one of the children’s friends. All were losing consciousness, officials said.
"The children were really in a bad state — it would have been a question of minutes and we could have lost them," said Quebec City Fire Department chief of operations Claude Bilodeau.
The five were taken to Enfant-Jésus Hospital, where they were being treated in a hyperbaric chamber and are considered out of danger.
The level of carbon monoxide in the home was measured at 600 particles per million, far above the acceptable level of 11 particles per million, officials said.
The incident serves as a reminder of the importance of carbon-monoxide detectors for people with garages adjacent to their homes, Bilodeau said.
Friends and neighbours of the family remain shaken by the situation.
"The car will never go back in that garage, I can assure you of that," an unidentified member of the couple’s extended family told Radio-Canada.
On Dec. 31, three members of a Gatineau, Que., family were found dead from carbon-monoxide poisoning.