State Fire Marshal issues warnings following carbon monoxide deaths

Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey

STOW – Public Safety officials are urging residents to stay safe this winter after two people died in a carbon monoxide incident in Acushnet.

State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey, Acushnet Fire Chief A. Kevin and Acushnet Police Chief Michael G. Alves held a press conference to announce the furnace was the source of the carbon monoxide that killed two people Tuesday at 3 Buttonwood Lane in Acushnet.

Firefighters detected elevated levels of CO in the home when they arrived.

State Fire Marshal Ostroskey said, “Heating is the number 1 cause of carbon monoxide poisoning in the home and as we enter the winter heating season, it’s important to have a professional tune-up your furnace to prevent problems, and to make sure you have working CO alarms on every level of the home and within ten feet of bedrooms,” said Ostroskey.

Since 2006, state law has required carbon monoxide alarms in all homes with potential sources of carbon monoxide – those with fossil-fuel burning equipment or enclosed parking areas.

“Nicole’s Law”, named after 7-year old Nicole Garofalo who died on January 28, 2005 when her Plymouth home was filled with deadly amounts of carbon monoxide on January 24. The furnace vents had been blocked by snow during a power outage.

The incident was jointly investigated by the Acushnet Fire and Police Departments and State Police assigned to both the Office of the State Fire Marshal and to the Office of Bristol District Attorney Thomas M. Quinn.

A Mashpee family safely escaped from their home Wednesday night when their carbon monoxide detectors went off.