High levels of carbon monoxide were detected as the bodies of a father and his 9-year-old son were found inside their Acushnet, Massachusetts, home after firefighters were called for a well-being check, official confirm.
Authorities in Acushnet say they received a call from a woman trying to reach her ex-husband, identified as 41-year-old Joseph Lopes, and her son, Collin, living at 3 Buttonwood Lane just after 8 a.m. Wednesday.
When officers initially arrived to check on the house, they a car in the driveway and nothing amiss outside. However, when officers called Acushnet Elementary School, they found out Collin was not there.
Police and fire officials went back to the Buttonwood Lane home around 10:30 a.m. and detected carbon monoxide levels that indicated it was unsafe for them to enter the house. Eventually they found two bodies inside, whom were later identified as 41-year-old Joseph Lopes and his son Collin.
Police say two dogs, one dead and one very ill, were also found inside the home.
Later in the day, Jason Lopes, Joseph's brother, spoke to necn.
"It's hard to fathom, hard to grasp, I'm waiting for him to come out of the house," he said.
Lopes said his nephew loved to play outside. Joseph worked as a carpenter and coached his son's sports teams.
"My brother worked really, really hard every day. That's one thing I always admired about him, he worked hard for his kids and his family."
Neighbor Ben Bergeron said he knew something was wrong when he didn't see Collin outside playing like he normally would.
"He wasn't outside playing so I thought that was kind of unusual," Bergeron said. "I'm really, really sorry they had to go through this."
The source of the CO is still not known, but the deaths are not suspicious according to the Bristol County District Attorneys Office.
"The carbon monoxide detectors typically sound at 30 parts per million. We had parts per millions in the thousands," said Acushnet Fire Chief Kevin Gallagher.
The home was vented by Acushnet Fire, and afterwards the Bristol district attorney and State Fire Marshal's office will start their investigation, which is still ongoing.
In a statement, Acushnet Superintendent of Schools Dr. Steven Donovan said crisis counselors will be at Acushnet Elementary School to help with students and staff "dealing with this tragic situation." The school will also be communicating with parents about the case.