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Carbon monoxide kills man, injures his wife in LI home, police say

Suffolk Homicide Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer speaks about a carbon monoxide poisoning incident that left a man dead and his wife injured at a Melville home on Thursday morning.  (Credit: Newsday / John Asbury)

A man was killed and his wife was hospitalized from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in their Melville home Thursday morning, Suffolk police said. 

Stephen Yancofski, 55, was found unconscious in the Scott Drive home and taken to Plainview Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, Suffolk County Homicide Det. Lt. Kevin Beyrer said. 

His wife, Kyriaki Bouziotas, 59, was taken to Nassau University Medical Center, where she was treated in a bariatric chamber for carbon monoxide poisoning, Beyrer said. She was in stable condition Thursday night. 

Bouziotas called her daughter Thursday morning to report she was vomiting and that her husband would not wake up. The daughter came to the house and called 911 at 8:30 a.m. Dispatchers told the daughter to try to remove her mom and stepfather from the home. 

Yancofski was unconscious and Bouziotas was too weak to move, Beyrer said. 

When Melville firefighters entered the home, the CO detectors on their uniforms immediately went off, he said. 

Firefighters found the gas leak in a basement hot-water heater, where authorities suspect a loosefitting PVC pipe on the heating exhaust system became disassembled, filling the house with carbon monoxide, Beyrer said.

"We don't know how long that's been going on," Beyrer said. "This is a silent and dangerous killer."

The home was equipped with smoke detectors but not CO detectors, he said. 

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can cause sudden illness and death. It's produced any time a fossil fuel is burned, including when a house or business has its heat on, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With Deon J. Hampton

How to avoid CO poisoning

Make sure you have a working carbon monoxide detector in your home. Check or replace the battery when you change the time on your clocks each spring and fall.

Have your heating system, water heater and any other gas, oil, or coal-burning appliances serviced by a qualified technician every year.

Seek medical attention if you suspect CO poisoning and are feeling dizzy, lightheaded or nauseous.

Don’t heat your house with a gas oven.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention


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