Bellingham, MA – The Boston Channel – A Bellingham, Mass., father and his 2-year-old daughter were hospitalized at Massachusetts General Hospital after succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning at their home Wednesday night. They survived because of the quick thinking of relatives and neighbors.
NewsCenter 5’s Gail Huff reported that the deadly gas was strong enough to kill the family cat, and it knocked the man and his daughter unconscious.
“They took a CO level — the fire department — and it was extremely high,” Bellingham police Sgt. Richard Perry said.
John Pachinen, 34, and his daughter, Hannah, were found unconscious by Pachinen’s mother, who also lives at the house at 1422 Pulaski Blvd. She found Pachinen collapsed in a bathroom and the toddler unconscious in her crib. She ran next door to a neighbor’s for help.
“She came running over and just said, ‘He’s passed out on the floor,’ and she and his brother who works for me ran over and broke in the door and dragged ’em out,” neighbor Jamie Jacquet said.
In the meantime, Pachinen’s mother was calling 911.
“I’ve got one unconscious and one baby I’m not sure about,” she told dispatchers.
“The daughter was more responsive than the father,” Perry said.
“I responded them with CPR for a little bit and he was just groggy and groaning and he didn’t really open his eyes,” Jacquet said.
Father and baby were rushed to Massachusetts General Hospital, which has a hyperbaric chamber. The home did not have any carbon monoxide detectors.
“There was a wood stove … you know, obviously the furnace … so we don’t know specifically what the cause was,” Perry said.
The heating system is being investigated as a likely cause and the furnace was having problems. Officials said the wood stove was not up to code.