ST. PETERSBURG (FOX 13) - A family of seven is lucky to be alive after being overcome by deadly levels of carbon monoxide from a gas-powered generator they were using to power their home.
Friday afternoon, the parents explained how they woke up feeling sick -- just in time.
"So my first priority was to get my wife and kids out of the house before anything, and once they got out, I reached the front door and passed out," Ernest Dixon said.
The parents and five children -- between the ages of 15 months and 13 years old -- are lucky to be alive. They were living in a home with no electricity because, they say, they couldn't pay the bill.
"The electricity bill went really high because my sister came down from California with her family and moved in," Dixon continued.
The family put a gasoline-powered generator in their garage, unventilated. When first responders got to them, they were shocked at the levels of carbon monoxide they'd inhaled.
"Anything about a 10 could be fatal. Most of their readings were up in the 30s, so it's extremely dangerous," SPFR Dist. Chief Alan Rosetti explained. "They were very lucky to get out."
The father says he was awakened by the sound of the mother vomiting, and he managed to call 911.
Fire Rescue says you should never use a generator or other gas powered engine inside. With no ventilation, it can be deadly.
"Yeah, it was a miracle," Veronica Rojas added. "If we didn't wake up, we'd all be gone right now."