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1 dead, 5 firefighters hospitalized from suspected CO poisoning in Hamilton Township

Click to play video: 'One person dead from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in Hamilton Township' One person dead from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in Hamilton Township
One man has died and four Hamilton Township firefighters were sent to hospital from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Monday afternoon – Feb 15, 2022

One person has died and five Hamilton Township firefighters were sent to hospital for suspected carbon monoxide poisoning on Monday afternoon.

Around 2:30 p.m., emergency crews responded to a medical call for a person without vital signs on a property on Evertsen Road in Hamilton Township, five kilometres north of the village of Bewdley (35 kilometres south of Peterborough).

Firefighters arrived first and located a man without vital signs inside a large storage building and began administering CPR.

Read more: 2 people found dead in northern Alberta home from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning

Township fire Chief Kelley Serson says a short time later a Northumberland County paramedic supervisor arrived on scene. Serson says when the supervisor entered the building, a CO alarm on their uniform was activated, indicating dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.

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The man and five fighters were transported to Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg to be treated for CO poisoning.

Serson says the victim was pronounced dead at the hospital.

The investigation is ongoing involving Northumberland OPP and investigators with the Technical Standards and Safety Authority (TSSA), who are expected to arrive on scene Tuesday.

On Tuesday afternoon, Northumberland OPP identified the victim as Duane Pitchforth, 57, of Courtice, Ont.

“A post-mortem was conducted and the cause of death was determined to be carbon monoxide poisoning,” OPP said.

OPP also said the five firefighters have since been released from hospital.

Carbon monoxide is a gas that has no taste, smell or colour and can lead to headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, nausea and death.

 

NOTE: An earlier version of this story stated four firefighters were taken to hospital. OPP on Feb. 15 updated to report five firefighters.

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