Child’s toy emits toxic fumes while charging

Published: Aug. 8, 2020 at 11:07 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - When Jay Palmer got home from work Thursday he smelled a strong sulfur-like odor throughout his apartment, something he had never smelled before.

"The closer I got to my son's room is when I really started to smell it the most," said Palmer.

He said he started to get light headed so he retreated and called 9-1-1 to report a gas leak.

Malden Fire Chief, Squeak Peterson, said firefighters went in the apartment and smelled the same sulfur smell which is an indication of a gas leak.

“These are all electric apartments, so for us to have a gas leak in that area we could not understand,” said Chief Peterson.

Puzzled, firefighters took Carbon Monoxide readings which indicated there were toxic fumes in the apartment. They also tested Oxygen levels which normally make up 21% percent of the air.

"It dropped the oxygen content in that room to about 17-18 percent," said Chief Peterson.

Firefighters determined the smell was coming from near Jay’s three-year-old son’s room.

That’s when they found a rechargeable child’s vehicle charging. They opened it and saw two batteries melted inside.

"One was already swollen and the top of the other one had acid," said Chief Peterson.

Chief Peterson said if they had not discovered it, the melted plastic could hit the carpet and set the whole complex on fire.

"He said that if it had been charging for another 30 minutes or so the entire house could have caught on fire," said Palmer.

Fumes indicating Carbon Monoxide could be extremely dangerous for Palmer and his family, possibly causing death.

Chief Peterson said Palmer did the right thing by letting the Malden Fire Department investigate.

"I mean that is what we are here for to investigate stuff like that," said Chief Peterson.

The batteries were disposed of properly according to the Malden Fire Chief.

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