Feb. 11--By smashing through a car window, fast-acting Boston firefighters yesterday prevented what might have been Boston's third fatal carbon monoxide pois-oning over the blizzard weekend.
"People in the neighborhood called, saying they saw an older gentleman sitting in a car, not moving," Boston Fire Department spokesman Steve MacDonald said about the man, whose identity was not released. MacDonald said the man is expected to survive despite apparently taking in significant amounts of the toxic gas.
On Saturday, as the region dug out, a Dorchester boy and a Mattapan man died from what officials believe to be cases of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in cars that were idling with snow-blocked tailpipes.
The storm also claimed the life of veteran Worcester firefighter Patrick E. Germain, 60, who died Saturday after suffering a heart attack while shovel-ing and using a snow-- blower at home.
In East Boston, a brother and sister, ages 5 and 8, were knocked unconscious by fumes as they warmed up in an idling car.
"Thank goodness their father called 911 in time," Boston Public Health Commissioner Barbara Ferrer said.
Public safety crews spent the weekend educating people on the dangers of carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless and tasteless gas produced by cars, gas-powered tools, heaters and stoves that kills silently.
"This is why we tell people not to heat your home using your oven, never use your grill indoors and always keep generators outside," Ferrer said.