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'It was that bad': Fort Worth firefighters who rescued family from carbon monoxide exposure recall incident, credit child who called 911

“If that little girl didn’t take the time to dial 911, we would have a very different story that we would be talking about today,” said Craig Trojacek.

FORT WORTH, Texas — It’s a story of heroism.

On Tuesday, four Fort Worth firefighters shared what they experienced after responding to an emergency at a home Monday night. 

When fire crews arrived to the home in the 8500 block of Orleans Lane, they found six people, five of them children, suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. 

The Fort Worth Fire Department said a car was left running in the garage, which led to high carbon monoxide levels in the home.

Firefighters rushed in before they had time to put on their protective equipment.

“We had to act quickly,” Lt. Robby Leon Guerrero said. “There was no time. When we saw them, we initially thought they were dead. We really did. It was that bad.”

The six residents in the home were transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Officials said one child was under the age of one, and others were teens. 

Five firefighters were also transported to the hospital for treatment and are doing well, the department said. 

Guerrero was one of the firefighters who first arrived. He said the garage door was shut, along with the interior garage door leading into the home.

During a press conference Tuesday, Guerrero said they weren’t sure what was happening when they first arrived. They knew people in the home were unconscious, but weren’t sure what caused it.  

“Right when we opened the door, the girl that did call 911 looked at us and said, 'Momma upstairs,’ then she collapsed,” Guerrero said. “Then, you look to your right, and it was another girl unconscious and vomiting. Then, upstairs there’s a little boy.”

The child who called 911 likely saved her family, said Fort Worth Fire and Rescue PIO Craig Trojacek.

“If that little girl didn’t take the time to dial 911, we would have a very different story that we would be talking about today,” said Trojacek. 

Neighbor Ellis Wren was in shock by what happened across the street. 

“I see the kids all the time. They’re outside playing and stuff like that,” Wren said.  “[The little girl] needs to be commended, because she probably saved everybody in the house.”

Tuesday, firefighters hadn’t received an update on the condition of the children and the adult resident. Lt. Guerrero expressed concern.

“How are they doing? Especially the kids. For those who have kids, it hits you a little bit. All of them seemed to be doing good, they brought them back, breathing, talking, so our thoughts were with the family,” Guerrero said. “It’s heartbreaking.” 

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