Current Conditions

Light Rain

Kamloops family has message after narrowly escaping carbon monoxide tragedy

Kyle, Monique and Celia Ruppel underwent oxygen therapy at Vancouver General Hospital after exposure to carbon monoxide in their Kamloops home last week.
Image Credit:
January 20, 2016 - 5:01 PM

KAMLOOPS - A local man is urging you to ensure you have carbon monoxide detectors after his entire family had a very close call.

Kyle Ruppel says his wife Monique awoke last Friday, Jan. 15 to respond to baby Celia who was crying around 3 a.m. Normally the couple is used to Celia crying around midnight each evening, but Kyle says on that particular night she cried a second time which prompted the couple to wake up and realize something wasn’t right.

“Monique tried to get out of bed and she had really bad vertigo. She only made it to the end of the bed and she had to lay down. As I was coming to, I realized I had a pretty bad headache,” Kyle says.

He decided to get up, grab an Advil and walk around the house when he noticed he felt nauseated and had to sit down numerous times.

“I figured we should probably get out of the house,” he says.

He felt so weakened, Kyle called his parents for help and while he says he felt as though he was coherent, his parents told him he made no sense on the phone. Panicked, they hurried over to the house. At that point, Kyle and Monique began packing up some items.

“Monique picked Celia up and (the baby) started vomiting. The cat passed out in the middle of the floor - kinda spread eagle,” he says. “When my parents showed up I collapsed in their truck. I was conscious, but I couldn’t lift an eyelash. I was telling my body to get up but was feeling totally powerless and unable to help my family.”

The family of three along with their pets made it out safely and were attended to by paramedics who rushed to the scene. Eventually all were transferred to Vancouver General Hospital by air ambulance to receive three rounds of oxygen therapy.

Kyle says members from Kamloops Fire Rescue discovered the house had three times the safe amount of carbon monoxide. They believe it was caused by a gas line malfunction related to the furnace.

There were a few warning signs looking back. Kyle’s brother was living as a tenant in the basement of the home and told him in the last few months that he was feeling fatigued and would fall asleep at irregular hours. But because the gas is odourless, colourless and tasteless - many don’t suspect they have carbon monoxide poisoning until it’s too late.

“We’re still taking it all in but we feel good. We’re just very grateful for all the support from friends and family. It’s just been amazing how many people have gone and checked their house and realize they don’t have carbon monoxide detectors,” he says. "I’ve been in construction my whole life and never clued in on something like that. It’s not negligence; the public just hasn’t been made aware of it enough."

Because of their experience, the couple is advising everyone to purchase a detector for their home to avoid a similar experience or worse.

“You gotta get off the couch. You have to check, and if you don’t have one you have to remediate it as soon as possible,” he says. “I want to take this opportunity to boost that a little bit so there’s not a bad story the next time around."

To protect yourself from the gas, Kamloops Fire Rescue advises you to get your fuel-burning appliances and chimney inspected once a year by a certified person. You're also advised to follow manufacturer's guidelines when installing fuel-burning equipment especially ensuring it's approved for indoor use. Finally, a carbon monoxide alarm should be on each floor of the home, preferably close to the bedroom as most poisonings occur when homeowners are asleep. 

To contact a reporter for this story, email Glynn Brothen at or call 250-319-7494. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016
InfoTel News Ltd

  • Popular kamloops News
  • Comments

View Site in: Desktop | Mobile