DUNDALK, Md. — Baltimore County Fire officials said a child is in critical condition after fire crews responded to a high level hazmat leak in Dundalk early Sunday morning.
"You wouldn't think nothing of it. You're sleeping and you could have never woken up," said neighbor Stuart Lewis.
He said he woke up to firefighters in the front yard of his St. Claire Lane home. They were responding to his neighbors home where they found high levels of carbon monoxide from a portable generator out back.
"It scares me bad," said Lewis.
The department said nine people were taken to Shock Trauma, including four children, one who is in critical condition.
"They were pretty bad. They couldn't walk two feet without passing out," said Lewis.
Lewis said there were high levels in his home too but his family was okay and didn't need treatment. He's glad it was caught on time, not only for his family, but for his neighbors.
"They're really sweet little girls. We love them to death. They even call me 'Papi',' said Lewis.
He said he found out late Sunday night that everyone is expected to be okay, but a few of the girls will be staying overnight at Shock Trauma.
Baltimore County Fire officials aren't sure if the family using the portable generator had carbon monoxide detectors but say they can't stress enough how important it is to have them and make sure they're working, as well as keeping any portable generators outside.
"The important thing with those is that they are both outside the home and an appropriate distance away while they are running," said spokesman Jason Wurzbacher.
Wurzbacher said the generator was found outside in close proximity to the basement door when crews arrived.
The Baltimore County Fire Department offers a free smoke and carbon monoxide alarm educational program, providing free detectors and help to those who apply and qualify, through grant funding.