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Ozone Pk dad, son die inside home

Marian Chen (r.) watches as the investigation is performed. Photo by Christina Santucci
TimesLedger Newspapers

Fire officials believe that a faulty heater was the source of a carbon monoxide leak that killed a father and son in an Ozone Park home that was not equipped with a working CO detector, according to a spokesman for the Fire Department.

Carbon monoxide readings taken at the home on 101st Avenue at 90th Street — 150 parts per million — were “extremely high” when emergency responders arrived Saturday evening, according to Frank Dwyer, a spokesman for the FDNY.

The levels were high enough to kill both Kuo-Kung Chen, 66, and his son Aaron Chen, 29, but the home did not have a working carbon monoxide detector in place to alert them to the leak, believed to be from a faulty heater, Dwyer said.

“That notification is the key in getting out of an incident like this alive,” Dwyer said. “It’s odorless, it’s colorless, you don’t know it’s there.”

There was no criminality suspected and the investigation was ongoing, according to the NYPD.

A family friend who did not want to be identified said Kuo-Kung’s daughter, Marian, had planned to meet up with her father Friday night, but when he did not show up, she went to her family’s Queens home Saturday to check on them.

Police initially responded to the home for a “wellness check,” and then medics were called and pronounced both men dead. A dog named Mocha, which had been in the house, survived, according to fire officials.

As authorities performed their investigation Saturday night, Marian broke into tears several times and was comforted by friends. Investigators checked bordering homes that were attached to the house where the leak occurred but said they did believe the gas had spread.

A third person was also taken to the hospital and was expected to make a full recovery, fire officials said.

Dwyer said ]although carbon monoxide poisonings occur year round, they often are related to heaters and boilers that are running during the cold months. He urged everyone to have a working CO detector in their home to identify high levels of carbon monoxide.

“If you are asleep, you won’t know it’s there,” Dwyer said.

Reach photo editor Christina Santucci by e-mail at csantucci@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4589.

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