Lempster, NH – Authorities concluded yesterday that a Lempster man and his teenage son died of accidental carbon monoxide poisoning in their Route 10 home, where their bodies were found lying next to each other Monday evening.
Dr. Thomas Andrew, chief New Hampshire medical examiner, positively identified the victims as residents Robert Pardy, 55, and Cody Pardy, 16, after autopsies were performed yesterday.
State police said carbon monoxide seeped into the sprawling yellow farmhouse at 930 Route 10 after a “deteriorating propane furnace vent connector pipe experienced a catastrophic failure.”
Lempster Fire Chief David Loring said the pipe had “just rusted out,” allowing carbon monoxide and other products of combustion to enter the house undetected for an unknown amount of time.
Initial air monitoring tests performed inside the house Monday evening revealed carbon monoxide levels that would not have been life threatening. Later, however, with the doors to the home closed, investigators with the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office retested the air quality and discovered carbon monoxide concentrations ranging from 12 parts per million to almost 600 parts per million at various times and locations within the house, state police said.
Robert Pardy worked as a caretaker at Bonnie Plant Farm, which is next door to his home. He reportedly left work feeling ill on Tuesday, May 27, and never returned. Low-level carbon monoxide poisoning typically manifests with flu-like symptoms, such as dizziness and nausea, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The health effects of carbon monoxide depend on the concentration and length of exposure, as well as a person’s health condition, according to state police.
“Varying concentrations and exposure to CO inside the residence were chronic and/or acute contributing factors in the deaths,” police said in a news release yesterday afternoon.
Friends and neighbors described Robert Pardy as an outgoing and generous person who loved hunting and spending time with his children.
Cody Pardy was a student at Fall Mountain Regional High School in Langdon. He attended the Goshen Lempster Cooperative School, graduating after eighth grade.
Those who knew Cody said he was a quiet kid who spent much of his time tending to his many pets, hunting or working alongside his father. Robert Pardy leaves behind three daughters and one other son, who all live in the Claremont area, friends said.
State Fire Marshal J. William Degnan urged all New Hampshire citizens yesterday to have residential heating equipment inspected annually by qualified technicians and to install at least one carbon monoxide monitor outside sleeping areas in every home, boat or recreational vehicle with overnight accommodations.
State police, the New Hampshire Fire Marshal’s Office, the Sullivan County attorney’s office and sheriff’s department and the Lempster Fire Department cooperatively conducted the investigation into the deaths of Robert and Cody Pardy.