LINDEN, N.J. (CBSNewYork) - A 9-year-old boy is dead and his 10-year-old sister is in critical condition from carbon monoxide poisoning in Linden Tuesday morning, police said.
Their mother found them unresponsive at around 7:25 a.m. in their bedrooms at 1157 Passaic Ave., police said.
The mother then began CPR. Emergency responders arrived and the girl was rushed to Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in extremely critical condition, according to police. The boy was rushed to Trinitas Hospital where he was pronounced dead, police said.
Officials are calling it a tragedy that should have never happened. CBS2's Meg Baker spoke to neighbors outside the home.
Henry and Arlene Carolina were shocked to hear about the loss of the 9-year-old boy they used to babysit.
"By knowing them as close as we have and all the interactions we've had with them, it really hurts because they were nice little kids, nice little family. She worked hard to take care of her family," Henry Carolina said.
Police said carbon monoxide caused the the tragedy. The victims names are Emmy Kay and Shobie, according to former babysitter Arlene Carolina.
The Carolinas previously owned the home the children lived in. They had oil heating, but that was changed to gas by the family that resides there now.
"There was a carbon monoxide detector in house, but I understand the batteries were old or corroded and not functioning properly," Linden Police Capt. James Sarnicki said.
Officials said the high carbon monoxide levels may have been caused by the improper venting of fumes from the home's furnace.
"We are going to be more vigilant in our efforts to try to communicate the importance of making sure smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detector batteries are maintained on a regular basis," Linden Mayor Derek Armstead said.
It is advised that you change your batteries when you change your clocks forward and back.
"Our children are our treasure and to have a 9-year-old boy lose his life over something like this -- unfortunate," Sarnicki saisd.
Fire safety officials had just recently gone door-to-door in the neighborhood.
"We go out to do a canvas with Red Cross and go back and install detectors for people,"Christopher Lukenda, state secretary for Firefighters Union, told CBS2.
However, residents have to sign up for the free safety installations. The tragic case serves as a reminder that fire and carbon monoxide detectors are only as good as the batteries in them.
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