Cateret, NJ – Carbon monoxide fumes from a portable generator claimed the life of a 49-year-old Carteret man who died of asphyxiation Saturday in the basement of a home that was without power.

The man, whose name has not been released, was found sitting on a couch in the basement of a Pine Street home, police said.

Residents were using the generator after losing power, police Chief John Pieczyski said.

At 12:07 p.m. Saturday, a resident of the house called police state that several members of his family were sick and another man, a friend of the family, was in the basement unconscious, police said.

Police and firefighters went to the house and were met by a husband and wife and their two small children who were waiting outside the home, authorities said. All of the family members were taken to Raritan Bay Medical Center for treatment.

Officers entered the basement and found a strong odor of gasoline and the generator, which was turned off with its power cords removed, police said. All the windows in the basement had been closed, but were quickly opened to ventilate the home, police said

The unidentified man was pronounced dead at 12:29 p.m. in the house.

Pieczyski said the death is still under investigation but there appears to be no foul play or criminal negligence.