It is a little after 7 p.m. this Friday evening. In an apartment in a building located rue François Van Cutsem in Evere, the five members of a family follow one another in the bathroom. Parents and three children aged 3, 4 and 11. The room is poorly ventilated. “The three children were washed in the bathroom, probably due to the accumulation of CO, the young girl who was there last, who stayed 15 to 20 minutes in the bathroom, fell into a faint . She was found unconscious by her parents“said Walter Derieuw, spokesman for the SIAMU relief zone.
Firefighters and Sibelga cut off gas for the entire building
The whole family was rushed to hospital. The eldest daughter did not survive this carbon monoxide poisoning. A doctor was assigned to autopsy the body.
The installation is today questioned. “It is a water heater which, it seems, was defective. It seems that this kind of installation is also in other apartments of the building. This is the reason why the fire brigade and Sibelga cut off the gas for the whole building. They asked all the occupants to empty the premises“, explains the bourgmestre acting as Evere, Ridouane Chahid.”It is a combination of circumstances: no supply of fresh air, no ventilation, a water heater that was not functioning optimally“, says the spokesperson for the firefighters.
An investigation was opened by the prosecution. The victims are followed medically and psychologically. Last year, 29 people died from CO poisoning.
The firefighters recall the importance:
- ensure a supply of fresh air and good ventilation
- to have a compliant device installed by an authorized technician. Regular maintenance and compulsory inspection.
- to have a good evacuation of the combustion gases
- follow IRM CO alerts