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9-year-old unlocks her dad’s phone with his face to call 911 as carbon monoxide filled her house

By David Williams, CNN

A quick-thinking 9-year-old in Brockton, Massachusetts, is being credited with saving her family after her parents were overcome by carbon monoxide from a generator they had borrowed after the powerful nor’easter that swept through the area.

Jayline Barbosa Brandão was in bed on October 28 when she heard her dad yelling and ran to find him with his mom, who had lost consciousness.

“I heard my dad screaming and saw my mom passed out,” she told CNN affiliate WFXT.

Her dad was also overwhelmed by the colorless, odorless gas, so she grabbed his phone to call 911.

The iPhone was locked, but she was able to hold it up to his face to unlock it using facial ID.

“So, I unlocked it by using my dad’s face,” Jayline said to WFXT.

Her mom, Marcelina Brandão, told CNN that her daughter then took her 7-year-old sister out to get help from a neighbor.

Brandão said the family had been without power for about three days after the storm and had borrowed a generator for their home.

She said they set the generator up near the back door outside their home and only ran it for a few minutes before shutting it down because it was noisy.

Then she and her husband unplugged everything from it and brought it into the house for safekeeping.

They thought it was a safe place, but now she realizes it was too close to the house.

The National Weather Service says you should keep a backup generator at least 20 feet away from doors, windows and vents and recommends homes have working carbon monoxide detectors.

Brandão said she had a headache and felt dizzy and nauseous before she passed out, but thought it was a migraine.

She woke up in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

Brockton Fire Department Chief Brian Nardelli told CNN that five people from the house were taken to the hospital for treatment.

Rescuers found the generator in the house and detected carbon monoxide levels of 1,000 parts per million (ppm) in the house, Nardelli said in an email.

The Consumer Products Safety Commission warns that sustained concentrations above 150 to 200 ppm can lead to disorientation, unconsciousness and death.

Brandão said she and her husband are doing better and that her mom, Jayline and their youngest daughter weren’t really affected by the gas.

She says Jayline’s fast action saved the family.

“She was so smart,” Brandão said. “That was very scary. If it wasn’t (for) her to call right away I don’t know what would have happened.”

The Brockton Fire Department responded to about 20 carbon monoxide cases in the aftermath of the storm, Nardelli said.

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