Family avoids tragedy with free carbon monoxide detector
A 5-year-old's dream and a mother's mission are two reasons why a LaPorte family is alive today.
Carbon monoxide almost took their lives but thanks to some good timing the family was prepared.
The family had a carbon monoxide detector but they got it during an event at the LaPorte Fire Department just a couple months before they needed it.
They're sharing their story now during Fire Prevention Week in hopes of helping other families.
The mother says their story would've ended much differently if they didn't pick up that free CO detector.
Alexandra Christner, her five-year-old son Ayden and her baby son were sleeping early one December morning last year while her husband was at work.
All of a sudden they heard a noise.
She says, "Ayden thought it was the fire alarm. I told him it was the carbon monoxide detector."
She quickly got her children out of the house and called 911.
Ayden says,"We tasted the air and it didn't taste like normal air."
Turns out the furnace was leaking and firefighters found incredibly high levels of carbon monoxide inside the house.
Ayden says, "We didn't know it was a furnace leak."
The family had a carbon monoxide alarm for years but it stopped working properly.
Money was tight and they decided to hold off on buying a new one.
Ayden says he's wanted to be a firefighter since he was one and a half.
So, his dad took him to an open house at the LaPorte Fire Department where they got the free carbon monoxide detector that woke them up that morning.
Alexandra says,"I absolutely believe everything happens for a reason. I believe my son had a passion for being a firefighter for a reason. I'd be very surprised if we doesn't become a firefighter when he grows up."
Dorothy Kesling's daughter Lindsey died from carbon monoxide in 2010.
Ayear later she started the Lindsey O'brien Kesling Wishing Tree Foundation which raises awareness about the danger of carbon monoxide.
Kesling's organization in partnership with First Alert provides free carbon monoxide detectors to fire departments that are then given out to families like the Christners.
Kesling says, "These accidental deaths that are happening throughout the state and in fact a little over 20 states throughout the United States should not be happening."
The L.O.K. Wishing Tree Foundation is hoping Indiana will come up with legislation that mandates carbon monoxide detectors in all homes.
In the meantime, they want to work with as many fire departments as possible in the state to hand out the free CO alarms.