A West Newfield woman whose mother and sister nearly died last month by carbon monoxide poisoning is speaking out about the importance of installing CO detectors in every home.

On a misty cool morning May 15, Ann Winn-Wentworth of Wakefield Road tried unsuccessfully to call her mother and sister, who live two houses away. After the third call, Wentworth and a friend drove to the house to check on them.

She found her mother, Agnes Winn, 87, unconscious in her bed with foam coming from her mouth and dark circles around her eyes.

Wentworth found her sister, Shirley Winn, 62, unconscious on the bathroom floor.

Her friend Tom Johnson, a volunteer for the Newfield Volunteer Fire Department and Newfield Rescue Squad, called 911. Within four minutes, there were 12 to 15 volunteers on the scene.

“I was in a state of shock,” Wentworth said Tuesday. “I was counting ever second, praying the rescue would come (quickly). I am so grateful to God that everyone came.”

Two ambulances and a fire truck rushed to the Winn’s home. The volunteers worked quickly to treat the Winns and took them to Goodall Hospital in Sanford. They were later transferred to Maine Medical Center in Portland.

Fire crews tested the carbon monoxide levels in the house and determined the leak was coming from a hot water heater in the basement.

The CO levels in the house measured 256 parts per million. A person who is exposed to carbon monoxide usually begins experiencing the side effects with levels of 35 parts per million. Those side effects include headaches, nausea and achiness.

Deputy Fire Chief Jason Neville credited the quick response of the fire department and rescue squad for saving the Winns’ lives. He encouraged people to install carbon monoxide detectors in their homes and change the batteries at least once a year.

“It’s cheap money for the protection of your family,” Neville said.

The Winns spent about five days in the hospital and are still recovering from the poisoning.

Shirley Winn, a certified nursing assistant, is expected to be back at work in a few weeks.

Her mother, Agnes Winn, is working with nurses and physical therapists to increase her strength and mobility.

Wentworth became emotional Tuesday talking about her gratitude for the actions of the fire and rescue workers that day.

“I will be forever be grateful,” she said. “My mother had eight of us. We will forever be grateful for what they did. They do this day and night and thank God they do.”

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at: [email protected]