British Columbia

Hardware stores report rush on carbon monoxide detectors after rash of poisonings

"It was kind of a crunch situation. We probably had 30 or 40 in stock and they went out of there within 3 or 4 hours," says one Vancouver store owner.

'We probably had 30 or 40 in stock and they went within 3 or 4 hours,' Vancouver store owner says

Stores including The Home Depot and Home Hardware reported a spike in sales of carbon monoxide detectors after serious poisoning incidents in B.C. last week. (Tina Lovgreen/CBC)

Carbon monoxide detectors have been flying off the shelves of Vancouver hardware stores after a rash of poisonings in the province.

Ed Wilkerson, owner of the Home Hardware on Commercial Drive, says staff were busy refilling shelves after customers scooped up most of the stock over the weekend.

"It was kind of a crunch situation," he said. "We probably had 30 or 40 in stock and they went out of there within three or four hours."

The Home Depot and other hardware stores also reported a rush on CO monitors.

Thirteen people from a Vancouver office — including two in critical condition —  had to be taken to hospital one week ago with carbon monoxide poisoning. 

The following day, a family of five from Barriere, B.C., were airlifted to Vancouver Hospital after suffering carbon monoxide poisoning in their home.

Vancouver Fire Capt. Jonathan Gormick said he hoped that people who couldn't immediately find a detector to purchase kept trying.

"It's great to see these detectors finally flying off shelves and people motivated to go out and buy them," he said. It's too bad it's taken a near tragedy to make it happen."

With files from Tina Lovgreen

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