Johnston County family talks about barely surviving carbon monoxide poisoning

Johnston County News

SELMA, N.C. (WNCN) — A Selma family is still in shock after nearly dying from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The incident happened overnight Friday and was reported to authorities just after 7 a.m. Saturday.

The family says an unexpected hospital visit earlier this month made it so they couldn’t afford their energy bill.

They put a generator in their crawl space under the house for heat. They propped a door open so it would have ventilation.

The wind shut the door, though, forcing carbon monoxide up into the house.

Bobby Ray Smith, his wife, his mother and his teen son were all home during the night.

His wife woke up around 6 a.m. Saturday feeling sick. She called 911 an hour later.

Smith said they could barely move and are thankful the fire department responded so quickly. Smith was unresponsive when rescue crews arrived, according to fire officials.

He says doctors told them if they were in the house an hour longer, they would’ve died.

“Still kind of shocked a little bit. Healthwise, I feel a lot better, still kind of weak, little woozy today, but we feel a lot better. It seems like the community is backing us on this and that feels a lot better too, makes us feel good,” Bobby Ray Smith said.

They were in the hospital for six hours recovering.

The Thanksgiving Fire Department is collecting donations to help them out.

To contact the Thanksgiving Fire Department email or call (919) 965-4230 or contact them on Facebook at or visit the fire station at 2375 Thanksgiving Fire Department Road in Selma.

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