New Haven, CT- Three New Haven families are being kept out of their homes after a broken furnace caused high levels of carbon monoxide into the air and sent one woman to the hospital. And that’s not all investigators found.
There were carbon monoxide detectors in the home, but they weren’t working, investigators say. The poisonous gas was found on every floor of the home.
“I went and woke up Rebecca telling her to get up you know and she wouldn’t wake up,” Evelyn Parissi said.
45-year-old Rebecca Ortiz was rushed to the Hospital of St. Raphael’s, unconscious and in critical condition.Now her mother prays while her family packs.
365 Howard Avenue has been deemed uninhabitable by the city after firefighters found a clogged chimney and black soot covering the walls as well as the air conditioning in Rebecca’s room.
Testing revealed high levels of carbon monoxide seeping from the furnace in the basement.
“The gases, the carbon monoxide gases were escaping this way and getting throughout the basement eventually up through the house,” said Andrew Rizzo from Livable City Initiative.
The CO went up to the Ortiz’s on the second floor, even as far as the third floor where the Longs have also been forced to evacuate.
Tonja Long tells us she’s repeatedly complained about leaks in the roof and exposed wires, not knowing there was a far worse threat here.
“It caught me by surprise that it’s in this building and plus, I have kids and I have four young children, so it could have been fatal between me and my kids,” she said.
The city says the three-family home was scheduled to be inspected later this year under the new landlord ordinance, an effort to make sure rental properties maintain proper safety standards, something that would have made all the difference to Rebecca Ortiz.