Daytona Beach boy, 9, dead after carbon monoxide poisoning, officials say

Neighbor: 'I didn't know they had a generator inside'

By Erik von Ancken - Anchor/Reporter

A 9-year-old boy is dead from what fire rescue officials believe to be carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator inside the home.

The home is on Mason Park Drive in Daytona Beach and the street does not have any power, officials said. 

When emergency units arrived, the 9-year-old boy, identified by police as Jose Barrios, his parents and another child all appeared to be overcome by fumes.

The mother was incoherent but able to ask a neighbor to call for help.

"Where is his mom and dad?" asked the 911 dispatcher.

"One is on the bed," said the caller. "He's unconscious. And the other one has a terrible headache. She, she has like no sense."

When the dispatcher realized the signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, she told the neighbor who'd called 911 to evacuate the home.

"Everybody get out of the house that you can get out of the house right now," said the dispatcher.

When authorities arrived they found a generator in another room with the door closed and towels place under the door. The machine had run out of gas, according to the incident report.

Neighbors said they didn't realize the family had a generator inside their home or they would have warned them about the dangers.

Neighbor Elizabeth Calderon went out to get coffee in the morning and when she came home "it was chaos."

"When I saw the yellow tape my heart seriously sunk. I was like what happened?" said Calderon. "I didn't know they had a generator inside."

Daytona Beach Fire Department said the mother, father and another child are in the hospital.

The father, identified by police as Pedro Hernandez, was unresponsive when first responders arrived, but he is now in critical condition.

Police say the mother, Matilda Barrios, will survive but it's unknown what the lasting effects of the poisoning may be.

Jose's brother, Luis Barrios, may be transferred to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children.

"I can't stress this enough - if you have a generator at home, and it's in your house, please take it outside. You cannot leave a generator running inside your house," Daytona Beach Deputy Chief Craig Capri said. "Carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless, and will kill you real quick. I think what saved the other families members is that the generator ran out of gas."

This makes the fifth Hurricane Matthew-related death in Florida, according to the Associated Press.

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