The man found unconscious from carbon monoxide poisoning in his home at 406 E. Wakefield Blvd. Wednesday night had been running a gasoline-powered generator to power his house.
Edward F. Gebelein Jr., 71, was transferred from Charlotte Hungerford Hospital in Torrington to Hartford Hospital because Charlotte did not have a hyberbaric oxygen chamber to treat him. This type of therapy provides oxygen to a patient much faster.
Gebelein was in stable condition Thursday.
Fire Chief Robert J. Shopey said the generator caused the high concentration of carbon monoxide in the home. He said generators should be operated from the outside.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and highly toxic gas.
Building Inspector Marc Melanson said state building codes do not require a homeowner to obtain power from a commercial utility. But in February 2004, he deemed Gebelein’s home temporarily unsafe after then Fire Chief Joseph Beadle spotted exposed wiring in the house. Beadle had responded to a chimney fire there.
Mark R. Prete, an emergency physician at Charlotte Hungerford, said it is hard to predict what the long-term effects of severe carbon monoxide poisoning could be, but it could cause neurological damage, such as memory loss or behavioral changes.
Seven other people also went to Charlotte Hungerford Wednesday night, including Gebelein’s brother, Gerald Gebelein, and six emergency responders. All seven were treated and released.
Shopey had initially said there were nine people who went to the hospital, but police revised that Thursday to eight. None were firefighters.
Shopey said a meter measured the amount of carbon monoxide in Gebelein’s house to far exceed 500 parts per million. He said exposure of one to two hours at a concentration greater than 200 parts per million can cause death.