~A story from one of our community members~

My name is Michelle Weir and I feel that I need to share my story with everybody to help raise the awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning. In 2014, my two children, husband and I were renting a property for four months.

During this period, on a Wednesday I was at home all morning with my daughter doing my weekly routine of cleaning, washing etc. I had noticed a weird gassy kind of smell in the house, but I wasn’t sure if it was just my nose playing tricks on me. As the hours passed, I was unsure if I was smelling gas or it was just my imagination. We later became slightly disorientated and nauseous.

I went to pick my son up from school and drop my daughter at dancing, though due to my concern I called my husband to tell him how I was feeling. We thought to be on the safe side, we’d call the emergency number. I started to feel a little better since I left the property.

Later that evening, an emergency plumber arrived and conducted various tests throughout our home. He advised us that there were four gas leaks located inside and outside of our home. He looked at me and said ‘if you all went to bed tonight, no one would have survived’. My heart stopped as all I could think about were my two babies. I will never forget those words for as long as I live.

We quickly packed our bags and rang the hospital who advised us to get tests done because I was so worried for my kids. We had to move into my mother’s house as we had nowhere else to go.

The real estate were appalling in their lack of concern or care. They did not ask if my family were OK, about our accommodation arrangements, nor understood how close we all came to dying. I asked twice for a copy of the plumbers report and it was refused. The real estate later advised me that they and the landlord are not accountable, nor at fault. Due to this negligence and the fact that my son was now terrified of the house, we decided to look for a new rental property with a new real estate agent.

I am happy to say that we are now in a new rental property. We have made sure that all gas burning appliances have been serviced and we have also installed a carbon monoxide alarm. We wouldn’t live in a house without one anymore.

Thank you for letting me share my story.