AN ELDERLY couple are lucky to be alive after they became victims of Poole’s second carbon monoxide (CO) scare in a matter of weeks.

The pair, believed to be in their 70s, were saved by fast-acting paramedics who managed to resuscitate them before whisking them out their luxury Branksome Park flat.

It is believed the potentially lethal gas leak was down to a faulty boiler and the incident follows the discovery of “a dangerous level” of CO in the Harbour Reach development last month.

The daughter of the couple raised the alarm just before 2pm on Thursday after her parents had failed to show for an arranged meeting.

She found them out cold in their kitchen when she arrived at the Westminster Road flat.

Paul Fuller, the first paramedic on the scene, said they could have been unconscious for some hours.

He said: “If the daughter hadn’t found her parents when she did, we could have had a worst-case scenario.

“Quite a lot of carbon monoxide was found in their blood. They may have been taking it in for some weeks.”

ä From page 1 “The important thing was to get them out of the flat. Once we had them out in the open they responded much better.”

Each of the other 13 flats at the five-year-old Chatsworth development had to be broken into by fire crews to ensure there was no-one inside, but the rest of the block was found to be empty.

The elderly couple were taken to Poole Hospital where they made a full recovery and were discharged later that day.

Paramedics who entered the flat also complained of symptoms of CO inhalation and were given blood tests too, but were later given the all-clear. Southern Gas Networks came to inspect their pipes but found no trace of any leaks.

Hamilton Townsend, managing agents for Chatsworth, said each of the 14 flats had their own gas supply and the flat owners were responsible for the upkeep of their boilers.

Director David Jenkins said all the gas supplies to the individual flats had been turned off as a “precautionary measure” to allow the gas company to investigate the problem.

As with the problems at Harbour Reach, the Health and Safety Executive said they would be investigating the incident “at the earliest opportunity”.


Carbon monoxide (CO) is known as the silent killer as it is an odourless and colourless, yet highly toxic, gas.

Though low concentrations of CO are found naturally in the atmosphere, an increase in levels, from badly-ventilated boilers, stoves, etc can lead to poisoning and even death. Symptoms of CO poisoning include headaches, nausea and flu-like symptoms.

Prolonged exposure can lead to brain damage.