LAUDERDALE LAKES (CBSMiami) – A makeshift stove is now being blamed for poisoning nearly a dozen people in a Lauderdale Lakes apartment overnight.
BSO Fire Rescue units rushed to the Canterbury Park Apartments following a report that someone started a homemade campfire to keep warm after temperatures dipped to about 55 degrees.
But Reynold Noel told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench said he primarily did it to cook some rice.
Investigators said a total of 10 people, including seven children, suffered from carbon monoxide poisoning after the improper use of the wood burning stove – a now badly burned tire rim.
Noel said there were problems with his stove so he used charcoal and started a fire in the tire rim because the seven children inside the apartment were hungry.
“Two burners on the stove were not working,” Noel said. “All the kids were crying for food.”
“Did you ever do this before?” D’Oench asked him.
“Yes, during the hurricane,” he said.
Noel and Natasha Destine, her husband and children were overcome by the fumes.
“After that I feel bad. I feel bad,” she said.
There were no working smoke detectors inside the apartment. A manager said they had been intentionally disabled.
A property management spokeswoman expressed concern, saying the stove was working.
Fire rescue said this could have been tragic.
“We are very lucky that all folks who reside here and in this residence are lucky as well as the folks that live in an adjacent apartment as well that there was no intrusion of carbon monoxide into those apartments,” said Broward Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Michael Kane.
Noel says he has learned his lesson.
“This was a big mistake,” he said, adding he’ll never do it again.
The hazardous materials team for BSO Fire Rescue safely ventilated the apartment and checked and found that the carbon monoxide was limited to just one apartment.
The state fire marshal is leading the investigation.
Noel was told he should be able to remain in the apartment with his relatives.