Metro

Elderly man dead after carbon monoxide leak at Roslindale condo

One man was dead and two women were hospitalized after a carbon monoxide leak was discovered Saturday morning in a Roslindale condo.
John Tlumacki/Globe Staff
One man was dead and two women were hospitalized after a carbon monoxide leak was discovered Saturday morning in a Roslindale condo.

One man died and two women were hospitalized after a carbon monoxide leak was discovered Saturday morning in a Roslindale condo that fire officials said had detectors without batteries.

Boston firefighters, police, and EMS responded to a 911 call at 9:47 a.m. at 741 Hyde Park Ave. Inside, they found the three victims, who were transported by Boston EMS to Brigham and Women’s Hospital, where the man was declared dead, said Steve MacDonald, a spokesman for the Boston Fire Department.

The two women were being treated for very high levels of carbon monoxide, he said.

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The state medical examiner will determine the man’s cause of death, MacDonald said.

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The man was identified as Tonghua Zhang, 69, by his daughter-in-law, Xi Chen. She said one of the women was her mother-in-law, Sanmei Wang, and the other was a family friend. Chen and her husband live in New York, and were there when they were notified about the tragedy.

“As soon as we got the call, we drove to Boston,” said Chen in a brief phone interview.

The leak forced the evacuation of at least 18 people from the five-condo building, many of whom were placed in an off-duty MBTA bus to keep warm as temperatures dropped below freezing on Saturday.

Crews from National Grid and Boston Inspectional Services were also at the scene Saturday. MacDonald said officials determined that the sources of the leak were a faulty stove and a faulty heating unit in the condo where the victims were found.

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Each of the five units has a gas stove and a separate heating system.

The heating inside the condo at number 741 had been turned off after the leak. Three of the units, including the one at 741 Hyde Park Ave., have individual underground parking garages.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless gas, and none of the units had working carbon monoxide detectors, said MacDonald. Some did not have working smoke detectors either.

Residents were able to return to four of the five units on Saturday after the Red Cross installed working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, he said.

MacDonald said officials have had few callsfor carbon monoxide leaks in Boston this winter.

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“Fortunately most people heed the warnings, but it does happen, case in point today,” MacDonald said.

Natasha Henry, 29, said she was woken by police Saturday morning and told to evacuate the condo she shares with her 2-year-old daughter, plus the girl’s father and grandmother.

She said she’s frustrated to learn her home lacked working detectors, and her thoughts are focused on her daughter.

“It could have been me and my daughter,” she said. ”That’s what I’m thinking about.”

Lisa Chin, 47, said she was cleaning her condo when she was ordered out by police Saturday morning.

She has thought about what would have happened had the leak been in her home.

“I would have been dead. No question,” Chin said.

Neighbor Matzaris Delvalle, 37, said she heard the sirens from first responders and watched as the three victims were taken from the condo and placed into ambulances.

She could see first responders performing CPR on the man before he was placed on an ambulance, she said.

John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com.