Off-duty firefighter saves restaurant full of sick people from carbon monoxide

An off-duty firefighter saved the lives of many dinner party guests when he realized something was amiss during the gathering of friends in North Carolina.

When Lonnie Wimmer began to notice guests were nauseous and complaining of headaches at the River Ridge Tap House, he jumped into action.

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The husband of the woman whose party he was attending was also a firefighter.

"We were there cutting out the cake and stuff and a couple of people started coming up to us talking about how they were dizzy," Wimmer told "People were generally not feeling well. We started talking back and forth a little bit and he asked me, 'are you thinking what I'm thinking?'

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They were both thinking carbon monoxide.

Wimmer made the call to the Lewisville Fire Department, where he works. They came and tested the restaurant and it came back positive.

"In our training, they teach us if you respond to a call and there's a bunch of people having the same symptoms of headaches and stuff like that, test for CO," said Wimmer.

They evacuated the restaurant and the nearly 30 people in the dinner party.

"Me and Ricky were there at the right time. We were able to pick up on all of this," said Wimmer. "I'm glad we were there because you know there was some kids in there and I don't want anything bad happening."

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The restaurant released a statement about the incident:

"As many of you know, we had a devastating incident occur this weekend at the Taphouse. We want to express how truly frightening and shaking this was for our crew, our guests, and our community... We were blessed by the presence of an off-duty fireman that night who luckily stopped the leak from progressing."