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A Sterling Heights family treated for carbon monoxide poisoning Wednesday was lucky to survive because their furnace was emitting a fatally high level of the gas, city officials said.

The Fire Department learned about a possible gas leak at a home on Tinkler about 8 a.m. and found three people outside showing signs of severe carbon monoxide poisoning, investigators said in a statement.

The group and another relative who had already left for school all were taken to Beaumont Hospital in Troy, according to the release. All four were expected to recover.

Crews inspected their home with air monitors and found high readings of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas. Consumers Energy later determined that a furnace had a faulty heat exchanger, which caused the buildup, authorities reported. 

The Fire Department reported that there were no carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

“These residents are very lucky because the level of carbon monoxide in the home was at a fatal level," Fire Chief Chris Martin said.

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