WEST SENECA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Parents hope the memory of a West Seneca teen can save lives more than a year after her death.
It's been over a year, and the pain is still very fresh for Ken and Kim Hansen. They lost their 16-year-old daughter, Amanda from carbon monoxide poisoning, while she was sleeping over at a friends house. Since then, they've made it their goal in life to make sure other parent's don't have to go through the same tragedy.
Ken remarked, "Every morning, we wake up, we cry. I mean once we get refocused and we know we've gotta accomplish what we have to do for Amanda, and that's what keeps us going."
The Hansen's donated 50 carbon monoxide detectors to hand out and teamed up with Home Depot. The store gave away hundreds of CO detectors in less than an hour. Home Depot District Manager, Rob Bertone said, "The Home Depots across New York State last week and this week have done these events to make the communities clear on what can happen when they're not protected."
"I have one in the kitchen and I have one in the basement," said Ron Szarpa. But Ron says his kitchen detector just broke, so he's picking up another. Sue Solly explained, "I don't have one in my home. I have a very, very old home, and old furnace and this is a great thing they're doing."
Carbon monoxide detectors have to be in every home. Amanda's Law went into effect in February, requiring every home to have one on the floor where there are bedrooms. Bruce Mack stated, "The only home that would be exempt would be one that's electric or no attached garage." Senator Bill Stachowski, who donated CO detectors on Saturday, was instrumental in getting that law passed.
It's bringing a heightened awareness to the issue, the goal for the Hansen's. "All we ever hear about is people are thinking about it and people are buying. I mean, you saw the turnout today," Ken exclaimed.
First responders are reminding everyone that this is the perfect weekend to install a CO detector in your home.You turn your clocks back on Sunday and it's also a good time to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors. "It's really something that doesn't get brought up until there's a tragedy like the one from last year," Bruce commented. A tragedy the Hansen's are hoping others can learn from.
Posted by: Kate McGowan