A man died Friday evening after he and his wife were hospitalized for carbon monoxide exposure earlier that day in Methuen, Massachusetts.
Methuen police said they received a call around 7 a.m. for a carbon monoxide incident on Pelham Street. The 62-year-old caller said she woke up feeling sick and found her 55-year-old husband, Joe Sholik, unconscious and unresponsive on the couch.
The male victim was still unresponsive when he was transported to a local hospital. The female victim was also transported to a local hospital for evaluation.
Sholik was initially reported in critical condition. He later passed away, Methuen police confirmed shortly after 10 p.m. Friday.
Officials expected the woman to make a full recovery.
Police said an improperly ventilated generator was discovered causing high levels of carbon monoxide in the home.
“It’s scary because it’s so preventable,” said neighbor Charlie Towne.
Towne knows all too well the dangers of carbon monoxide. In an eerily similar situation months ago, his daughter's boyfriend died after running a generator in their New Hampshire basement.
“My daughter has some serious medical problems as a result of it and she’ll never be the same,” said Towne. “Carbon monoxide is a serious killer.”
Police say generators should never be placed in a garage, basement or any enclosed space.
“Make sure it’s at least 15 feet from your property,” said Methuen Police Sgt. James Moore. “And vent it away so the fumes aren’t sent into the house.”
Methuen Mayor James Jajuga also cautioned the public against taking risks when it comes to carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Please contact public safety officials if you have any questions about how to protect yourself from carbon monoxide poisoning,” he said.