A BLACKBURN family have spoken of their miracle escape after a carbon monoxide leak at their home.
Yusuf and Yasmin Patel collapsed after a faulty boiler pumped the lethal gas through their home, in Railway Grove, Little Harwood. Two of their sons, 15-year-old Muhammad, and Anas, 14, also passed out.
Brother and sister Ahmed, 18, and Fatimah, 12, escaped the worst of the fumes and were praised for alerting the emergency services, just before 1pm on Saturday.
Ahmed, who changed his name from Yasin last year, said the East Lancashire football derby had inadvertedly saved his family’s lives.
The Blackburn College student and Blackburn Rovers worker said: “If Rovers had been playing on the Saturday, I would have left for the stadium at noon, and my family could have been killed.”
Mrs Patel, a teaching assistant, said she was cleaning the oven when she began to feel dizzy, as did Mohammed and Anas. She said: “I went for a lie down, and the next thing I knew, the paramedics were waking me up. We all felt tired and we all went to sleep.”
Council worker Mr Patel said: “I got back from shopping and said I would carry on with the work. I started to feel tired and sat down. And that was it. We are very lucky.”
Ahmed, who had been in the front room, said he found his family collapsed on the floor in the dining room, around the same time Fatimah arrived home after playing out.
He said: “They were just lying on the floor and two of them were vomiting. The others were shivering. I was calling them, but getting no response.”
And Fatimah added: “At first I thought they were faking, but my dad’s eyes were open, but not blinking.”
The pair opened windows, and called the emergency services.
One firefighter, who was among the first to arrive, said it was ‘like Armageddon’, with bodies sprawled around the back room.
The family were taken to Royal Blackburn Hospital.
After being discharged, they decided to stay with family in Bolton while their boiler is repaired, and checked.
Carbon monoxide is both colourless and odourless, and can cause those affected to initially suffer dizziness, nausea, and lead to collapse, and even death.
Ahmed said: “The only thing that stopped me acting sooner was thinking I might be wasting the ambulance service’s time. We have got to make people aware that, even if you think it’s something small, call 999.”