Family’s lucky escape after faulty boiler filled home with carbon monoxide

A family have spoken of how lucky they were to escape with their lives when their home was being filled with deadly carbon monoxide.

Nicola Savory and Lee Tonks did not have a carbon monoxide (CO) alarm, so were unaware the invisible and odourless gas was leaking from a boiler flue.

The couple and their two kids were minutes from death when gas engineer Mo Dawood arrived.

He had been called to a neighbour’s home after a CO alarm there picked up a reading.

Mo knocked on Nicola and Lee’s door and got no answer, so he put a detection reader through the letterbox.

He said: “The CO reading was so massive I couldn’t believe it.”

Exposure to that level of gas is deadly within a few hours.

Mo said: “A lady eventually came to the door. She had big red circles around her eyes, so I ordered everyone out. Lee collapsed.”

The couple and their children, James, five, and Harry, two, were taken to hospital.

Mo, 34, from gas emergency service Cadent, had arrived on the scene sooner than planned because he had finished his previous call earlier than expected.

He said: “That turned out to be vital.”

Ahead of Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week, starting Monday, Nicola, 40, of Bedworth, Warwickshire, has urged people to ensure they have at least one CO alarm.

Two years on from the ordeal, Lee, 40, said: “If Mo hadn’t knocked on our door that morning we wouldn’t be here now.”

Carbon monoxide poisoning kills about 40 people annually in England and Wales.