Community rallies to prevent CO poisoning after tragic deaths

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PLAINFIELD -- After the deaths of 65-year-old Denise Carlini and her 29-year-old daughter Morgan Becker from carbon monoxide poisoning in late November, their loved ones and plenty of others are trying to spread the word about how to prevent such a tragedy from happening to you or someone you know.

On Nov. 22, Denise and Morgan were found dead inside their Plainfield home.

Full disclosure: I am related to them. Denise was my first cousin.

Investigators think they probably died the night before after a boiler in the home malfunctioned and emitted deadly carbon monoxide. What starts out as a headache from exposure quickly leads to complete loss of motor skills and then death. It was later learned there were no working CO detectors in the home, only working smoke alarms.

Tuesday local police, fire officials, and Denise's husband Ray Carlini -- who wasn't at home because he was having a medical procedure done --and surviving daughter Jessica issued what essentially amounts to a public service announcement: If you don't have a carbon monoxide detector, get one, and if you do have one, check that it works.

The amounts of carbon monoxide in the Carlinis' home were so high that five Plainfield police officers who entered the home as part of a well-being check were overcome and had to be hospitalized. The officers were later released with no lasting injuries.

Kidde, which makes CO detectors and smoke alarms, donated 150 of them to be given to Plainfield residents. A representative with the company said they estimate at least 50 percent of American homes do not have working CO detectors.

"If you have these devices and they are sitting in the closet or the batteries out of them and you are not using them, start using them," Ray Carlini said.

Friends from the local moose lodge spearheaded an gofundme effort that raised more than $8,000, which already has gone to buy 300 CO detectors that will also be given away soon.