Eight people in Chester were taken to hospitals after a furnace malfunctioned, releasing carbon monoxide that rendered some of them unconscious, authorities said.
A resident of the home called for help about 4:20 a.m. Thursday and when rescuers arrived, they found five people in their 20s suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning. Three other people were already en route to Springfield Hospital, according to Fire Chief Jeff Holden.
A vent pipe to the furnace had been disconnected, allowing the gas to vent into the house instead of being discharged outside.
Holden said if the incident had gone on long enough it could have been fatal.