Carbon monoxide culprit in 3 deaths


BERLIN, N.H. (AP) – Three people found dead in a city home succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning from a faulty boiler, authorities said Thursday.

The victims were a 15-year-old boy, his grandfather, Donald Robbins, 54; and his great-grandmother, Henrietta Robbins, 75.

Deputy Fire Marshal John Raymond said firefighters traced the carbon monoxide to an oil-fired boiler in the basement that had not been professionally serviced since 1999. Raymond said the grandfather had been working on the boiler himself.

“The windows were blackened by smoke. The carbon monoxide reading was 10 times what the normal body can withstand,” he said. “The chimney was plugged with heavy black sooting that froze.”

Rescuers had to wait more than four hours for the fumes to dissipate before entering the home. They found one victim in bed, one on a bedroom floor and another seemed to have been trying to escape.

The house had no carbon monoxide detector and the smoke detector lacked a battery.

Police Chief Peter Morency said he believed the boy and his grandfather were trying to rescue the older woman when they were overcome.

Two dogs in the home also died.