Peoria family rushed to hospital after exposure to carbon monoxide

Posted: Updated:
Sandy Esber made a potentially fatal mistake last week when she accidentally left her Ford Expedition Hybrid running in the garage overnight and went to bed. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Sandy Esber made a potentially fatal mistake last week when she accidentally left her Ford Expedition Hybrid running in the garage overnight and went to bed. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
All of the kids were rushed to the hospital with symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning. (Source: Sandy Esber) All of the kids were rushed to the hospital with symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning. (Source: Sandy Esber)
They're all expected to be OK, but Esber knows this could have had a much different outcome. (Source: Sandy Esber) They're all expected to be OK, but Esber knows this could have had a much different outcome. (Source: Sandy Esber)
Esber has made it her mission to warn others about the dangers of carbon monoxide. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Esber has made it her mission to warn others about the dangers of carbon monoxide. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PEORIA, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The garage door was down, but her SUV was still running.

Sandy Esber made a potentially fatal mistake last week that could have killed her entire family.

"I feel horrible," said Esber. "I've gone through it over and over in my head. How could I not hear it running? I don't know how I didn't hear it running."

The Peoria mom accidentally left her Ford Expedition Hybrid running in the garage overnight and went to bed.

In the morning, Esber and her four children were feeling sick and they didn't know why.

"The whole room was spinning and everything got real dizzy," said Esber. "That's when my legs felt like they were going to give out on me. My 5-year-old, when I tried to get him up, he got off his top bunk and he just collapsed. It was almost like his legs were going out on him."

All of the kids were rushed to the hospital with symptoms consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning.

They're all expected to be OK, but Esber knows this could have had a much different outcome after a family of four was found dead in a cabin near Flagstaff on New Year's Day from exposure to carbon monoxide.

[READ MORE: Family of 4 found dead in cabin from possible carbon monoxide poisoning west of Flagstaff]

"During the day you feel the symptoms," said Time Eiden, with the Peoria Fire-Medical Department. "When you're sleeping at night, depending on the level of carbon monoxide, that's when it can be fatal."

The family did not have a carbon monoxide alarm in their home, but they do now.

Esber has made it her mission to warn others about the dangers of carbon monoxide.

"I would encourage everybody to go and get one," said Esber. "It costs $22. Plug it in the wall. It's a matter of saving your life."

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2018 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Jason Barry
Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

Click to learn more about Jason.

Jason Barry

Jason Barry has been reporting in the Valley since 1997.

He is a nine-time Rocky Mountain Emmy Award winner who is best known for his weekly Dirty Dining reports, which highlight local restaurants with major health code violations.

Jason was born in Los Angeles and graduated from the University of Miami.

An avid sports fan, Jason follows the Diamondbacks, Cardinals and Suns with his wife, Karen, and son, Joshua.

His favorite stories to cover are the station’s Pay it Forward segments, which reward members of the community with $500 for going ‘above and beyond’ the call of duty to help others.

Jason, started his career at WBTW-TV in Florence, SC before moving to WALA-TV in Mobile, AL, was named the Associated Press Reporter of the Year in 2002.

Hide bio

  • Featured VideoMore>>

  • Dirty Dining June 22: Health inspectors find rodent droppings throughout restaurant

    Dirty Dining June 22: Health inspectors find rodent droppings throughout restaurant

    Friday, June 22 2018 10:06 PM EDT2018-06-23 02:06:19 GMT

    Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department. CBS 5 News selects restaurants with some of the highest numbers of "risk factors." According to health inspectors, risk factors are considered major health code violations.

    More >

    Every week, CBS 5 News is sent a list of restaurants that have been recently inspected by Maricopa County's Environmental Services Department. CBS 5 News selects restaurants with some of the highest numbers of "risk factors." According to health inspectors, risk factors are considered major health code violations.

    More >
  • VIDEO: House floor protest

    VIDEO: House floor protest

    Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California played audio on the House Floor from what is reported to be recorded inside a detention center. The Speaker Pro Tempore asked Lieu to suspend several times and called in the Sergeant at Arms. Rep. Lieu eventually yielded the floor and stopped playing the audio.

    More >

    Democratic Congressman Ted Lieu of California played audio on the House Floor from what is reported to be recorded inside a detention center. The Speaker Pro Tempore asked Lieu to suspend several times and called in the Sergeant at Arms. Rep. Lieu eventually yielded the floor and stopped playing the audio.

    More >
  • Ayton arrives as symbol that Suns are on the rise

    Ayton arrives as symbol that Suns are on the rise

    Friday, June 22 2018 9:52 PM EDT2018-06-23 01:52:21 GMT
    #1 pick Deandre Ayton speaks with AZ Family after being introduced by the Phoenix Suns. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)#1 pick Deandre Ayton speaks with AZ Family after being introduced by the Phoenix Suns. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
    #1 pick Deandre Ayton speaks with AZ Family after being introduced by the Phoenix Suns#1 pick Deandre Ayton speaks with AZ Family after being introduced by the Phoenix Suns

    Since the heady days of Steve Nash came to an end, there have been few signs of joy from a dwindling fan base that watched the Phoenix Suns tumble to the bottom of the NBA standings and miss the playoffs for the eighth year in a row. 

    More >

    Since the heady days of Steve Nash came to an end, there have been few signs of joy from a dwindling fan base that watched the Phoenix Suns tumble to the bottom of the NBA standings and miss the playoffs for the eighth year in a row. 

    More >