Australia: Merrylands, Sydney: Tragic reason family of six used a charcoal BBQ to heat their home

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The father of a family of six said he woke to his son vomiting after sustaining carbon monoxide poisoning when attempting to heat their home with a portable BBQ.

Paramedics were called to the Merrylands granny flat in Sydney's west early on Tuesday morning after an adult complained of a headache.

After arriving they discovered four adults, two of which were elderly, and two children in a serious condition after attempting to warm the home with a charcoal burner.

Najem Nawaseri said he found his 13-year-old son Raeed violently unwell before urgently calling triple-0 for assistance.

'When I woke up I was very dizzy and then I understood (what was going on), then I saw my young son vomiting and then I called triple-0,' Mr Nawaseri told the Telegraph.

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A family of six have been rushed to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning after attempting to heat their home with a portable BBQ (pictured) © Provided by Daily Mail A family of six have been rushed to hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning after attempting to heat their home with a portable BBQ (pictured) They were all taken to Westmead Hospital after paramedics said they were displaying symptoms of monoxide poisoning © Provided by Daily Mail They were all taken to Westmead Hospital after paramedics said they were displaying symptoms of monoxide poisoning

Emergency services found it difficult to communicate with the family due to a language barrier, however several members showed ambulance crews a picture of the BBQ which alerted them to the potential cause for the headache.


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They had turned on the charcoal burner to heat the property and fallen asleep, with the poisonous fumes filling the granny flat.

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Raeed said he was unaware the burner was responsible for the fumes but said he awoke feeling extremely well.

'I didn't realise it was this,' the youngster said as he pointed to the outdoor heater. 'It had no smell, it was just on but I was feeling very dizzy.'

His father said it was a response to rising gas prices in Australia.

'(It's) very expensive, the gas and everything,' Najem said.

'A lot of people's heaters do not work and they don't have enough money to pay.'

All six have been taken to Westmead Hospital in a stable condition to be monitored after breathing in the gas overnight, while fire crews also attended the home to assess its safety.

There have been several instances of people looking to use cookers or burners to heat homes due to skyrocketing prices of electricity in the winter months.

Australia's energy crisis

In the year to March, wholesale electricity prices soared by 141 per cent, prompting one power company boss to urge his 70,000 customers to switch provider.

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Financial comparison group Finder is predicting electricity prices to climb by up to 100 per cent from July 1, effectively doubling the price.

Australian Petroleum Production & Exploration Association acting chief executive Damian Dwyer told Daily Mail Australia natural gas was central to Australia's cleaner energy future.

'We are doing everything we can to look after customers and fill the energy void left by the failure of coal-fired power generators in particular,' he said.

'Our members have already acted to ensure gas flows to where it is needed using the mechanisms put in place to help us do so. '

A major incident at Callide in Queensland combined with another serious incident in Victoria have been compounded by various outages in New South Wales.

'The problems we have seen with the energy system highlight how natural gas is central to Australia's cleaner energy future, replacing coal as a lower emissions fuel and stabilising renewables when the wind doesn't blow and the sun doesn't shine,' Mr Dwyer said.

'There has been a 55 per cent increase in gas in the National Electricity Market as more than 800MW of coal and renewables have dropped out of the system.'

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At least a quarter of Australia's coal-fired electricity production is currently offline while the east coast shivers through a freezing winter amid soaring price rises.

The global fuel crisis has already forced some nations to abandon their climate change commitments to meet power demands as consumer prices soar.

Germany has now started passing laws to prevent coal power stations destined for the scrapheap from being axed, ordering them to be kept on standby instead.

Italy, Bulgaria, Romania and the Czech Republic also plan to burn more coal as a temporary measure while they reduce reliance on Russian gas after its invasion of Ukraine, and the UK is drilling for more gas in the North Sea.

AGL currently has three coal power stations in NSW and Victoria either offline or on reduced capacity due to scheduled and unscheduled maintenance issues.

Origin's Eraring power station, the largest in NSW, has also been crippled by coal production cutbacks at its neighbouring conveyor belt-connected coalmine.

It's had to buy coal on the open market as prices surge because of the global crisis sparked by the war in Ukraine, which forces electricity prices up further.

The maintenance work at affected power stations is not expected to be completed until July at the earliest while Callide is out until December, but Labor is demanding the work is now fast-tracked.

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