FL – By Jon Burstein, Staff Writer

A gas generator nearly transformed a Boynton Beach house into a death trap Saturday afternoon, almost choking the life out of three children and their mother until quick-thinking police officers rescued them.

The children — ages 7, 10 and 13 — and their mother, 42, were pulled from their house in the 100 block of South Atlantic Drive when officers smelled the fumes and realized carbon monoxide was killing the family, said Sgt. Tom McCabe of the Boynton Beach Police Department.

Rather than risk waiting for ambulances, officers put the family members in patrol cars and rushed them to Bethesda Memorial Hospital.

Doctors are crediting that split-second decision with saving the children’s lives, McCabe said.

Officers responded to the home at 4:23 p.m. after receiving a 911 call regarding an unknown disturbance. McCabe said Saturday that it was unclear who made the phone call, but the children’s father was at the door when officers arrived.

After the five officers at the house realized there was a gas generator inside, they ran in and opened the windows.

Sgt. Paul Sheridan, one of the officers, said the children and mother either were unconscious or too weak to move when they rushed into the home. Officers Kenny Roper, Astrel Labbe, Richard McNevin and Joe DeGiulio aided in the rescue.