7 hospitalized after hazmat situation in SW Miami-Dade

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Rescue crews took seven people to the hospital, including first responders, after they breathed in carbon monoxide in Southwest Miami-Dade, Thursday morning.

Miami-Dade Police and Fire Rescue were called to a home located on the 22700 block of Southwest 103rd Court, at around 4:55 a.m., after a family of three came into contact with the toxic fumes.

Upon their arrival, first responders also started to become ill. “They were just overcome with a little bit of shortness of breath and weakness,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Felipe Lay.

According to officials, three firefighters, an officer, two adults and a teenager were transported to Jackson South Community Hospital. 7News cameras captured the ambulances as they arrived at the hospital, one after the other.

Two dogs were also pulled out from the home and checked out at the scene.

All victims are expected to be OK.

According to relatives of the residents who were transported, the family had just returned from vacation and they had begun to cook dinner.

The grandmother of the family, Rosita Black, said she believes the issue began when her son-in-law left a Jaguar vehicle running overnight.

“The car in the garage had a dead battery, so he charged the car, and he let it run. You know sometimes how you let the car run for a few minutes? He got distracted with the cooking and forgot,” said Black.

At around 4 a.m., Black said, the family noticed something was wrong and called 911.

Officials said carbon monoxide filled their home for hours.

One neighbor who was confused as to what was going on said she was even fearful that she was in danger. “I was watching through the window, and I saw only police and the yellow tape,” said Judit Duarte.

What came in as a routine medical call wound up being something more when firefighters became ill. “We had summoned our hazmat team because something just didn’t seem right,” said Lay.

Emergency crews blocked off the scene at Southwest 103rd Street, near the Florida Turnpike, as they used special equipment to help them locate where the fumes were coming from. “With those meters we deduce what the potential cause, what the source is of the chemical, the vapors or whatever material it is,” said Lay.

Upon finding out that her neighbors were sickened, Duarte said she hoped they would make a quick recovery.

“Very nice people. They say hi all the time,” she said.

Black said her son-in-law is feeling distraught about the whole situation. “He’s just sorry that it happened like that,” she said.

She is grateful things didn’t get any worse. “Thank God everybody’s OK, it wasn’t any worse, and thank God that he woke up and realized that something was wrong,” said Black.

The first responders and the father and son were released from the hospital. The only person doctors are keeping a close eye on is the mother, who may stay there overnight.

Upon his return home from the hospital, one of the victims was asked what alerted him that something was wrong. “Not feeling normal,” he said.

Officials said the incident serves as a reminder for residents to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes and to make sure they are working.

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