NEW YORK. – Dominican María Sánchez was perhaps the biggest scare of her life when she returned home and found her family affected by accidentally aspirating carbon monoxide.
The first responders rushed to the five-story building on 2679 Decatur Avenue, around 5:20 p.m. Monday, after several reports by sick people, the Fire Department (FDNY) said.
In total, seven residents and four emergency workers became ill from carbon monoxide, according to authorities.
Sanchez said he found all the members of his family, including his four small, unconscious children. All children are under 7 years old and one is a baby.
“I found my sister and my children in the apartment. Everyone fainted. My daughters were throwing up and I took them to the hospital, ”he said. The heart of one of the girls stopped and was miraculously revived, said the distraught mother.
The patients were transferred to the Jacobi Medical Center to receive treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.
When the family returned to the building Tuesday morning, Sanchez said she was terrified to re-enter.
“I’m afraid, because I don’t feel safe, I don’t feel safe,” he insisted to Pix11.
There were multiple carbon monoxide detectors in operation in the building, FDNY officials said, but it’s not clear if they stopped working inside Sanchez’s apartment.
The cause of the leak appears to be heating, FDNY officials said. The boiler’s chimney was blocked with debris, which could have caused carbon monoxide to build up, according to the city’s Department of Buildings (DOB).
City records show that the building has three open violations related to the boiler, dating back to 2014.
This week the DOB issued an order to cease the use of the boiler and the owner must make repairs as soon as possible.
A total of 15 apartments were temporarily evacuated. Residents were allowed to return to the building shortly after 8 p.m. Monday, but there was no heating or hot water for several hours.