Pratt family thankful to be alive after carbon monoxide scare

PRATT, Kan. (KAKE) -

Reyetta Willard stood outside her Pratt home, a home that almost cost her and her family their lives. 

"It's very scary and very glad we're still alive," she said. 

She and her husband are lucky to be alive after crews found a deadly amount of carbon monoxide inside Wednesday. 

It all started on Christmas Day when her granddaughter randomly passed out near the fire place; that's when Willard had a gut feeling something was wrong.

"I don't take much for granted," she said. "This is a rude awakening."

The couple called to have someone check on their furnace Wednesday because it wasn't working.

That's when crews discovered the high levels of carbon monoxide. They couldn't believe the Willards were still alive. 

In  August, two people in south Wichita died of carbon monoxide poisoning, a reason the Wichita Fire Department and officials across the country stress having a working detector could be the difference between life and death.

"Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, and you don't know when it's an elevated level that could be dangerous to humans until a meter goes off," said one fire official. 

Through the ordeal, Willard says she's thankful for all the help she's received while trying to get back on her feet.

"It makes you really proud to know that your community will step up and help people out," she said.

The Willards still can't live in their home until more repairs are done. They didn't have a working co detector. If you don't have one, many fire departments do provide them at no cost. 

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