Winter Haven woman sounds alarm about risk of CO poisoning on gun ranges after accident on Monday

Posted at 6:20 PM, Dec 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-29 18:20:18-05

At least three people at a Winter Haven gun range had to be rushed to the hospital with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning on Monday, and now one of the guests who fell ill is sounding the alarm.

“Our lives were in danger. My whole family could have died in there,” said Yvonne Pantaleon, who spent several hours at the Leadfeather Guns and Archery gun range Monday with her family, trying out a new Christmas gift.

She said everyone in her family started feeling sick with the same symptoms.

“I was nauseous, dizzy, and very headachy,” she said.

In fact, one guest at the gun range even passed out.

Polk Fire Rescue showed up and rushed three people to the hospital with symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“It can be fatal,” said Deputy Chief Keith Williams of Polk Fire Rescue.

Investigators cleared out the building and discovered dangerous CO levels in the air.

They later found the ventilation system in the gun range malfunctioned and all the gun powder and smoke built-up after a busy day on the range.

“This was just a freak accident. We had no way of knowing something like this would happen,” said Bill Reynolds, Owner of the business.

Reynolds said it’s never happened before and he already has a crew out working on a fix.

Despite no law requiring CO detectors in gun ranges, he just installed one to be safe.

“Who knows what might have happened. I hate to say it but it’s the truth,” he said.

Pantaleon has been shooting guns for 25 years and had no idea of the lurking danger.

She’s hoping this is a wake-up call to the rest of the shooting public.

“I’m completely scared,” she said. “I’m never going back there again.”