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Nassau County Medic Speaks Out About Carbon Monoxide Scare At Dunkin' Donuts

CARLE PLACE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- A Long Island man is being hailed as a hero after saving a worker at a Dunkin' Donuts.

Nassau County medic Joseph Biundo stopped at the shop on Glen Cove Road in Carle Place for a quick cup of coffee around 4 a.m. Friday when his personal carbon monoxide detector suddenly went off.

Biundo said at first he thought the machine was malfunctioning.

Nassau County Medic Speaks Out About Carbon Monoxide Scare At Dunkin' Donuts

"I went outside, cleared it, went back in; it started going back up," Biundo told 1010 WINS' Mona Rivera.

Authorities said a vent in one of the ovens had failed and was filling the doughnut shop with the deadly gas.

Nassau County Medic Speaks Out About Carbon Monoxide Scare At Dunkin' Donuts

The meter readings were even higher near the ovens, C BS 2's Carolyn Gusoff reported.

Biundo sprung into action and evacuated a worker inside the store.

"It's a good feeling to know that I did save somebody's life," Biundo said.

The medic said he purchased the detector with $200 of his own money after hearing about a carbon monoxide death at a Suffolk County restaurant.

"It's priceless. It did its job," Biundo said.

In February, Steve Nelson, 55, was found dead in the basement of Legal Sea Foods at the Walt Whitman Shops following a carbon monoxide leak. More than two dozen other people were treated at hospitals.

A faulty water heater flue pipe was blamed for the leak at that restaurant, authorities said.

Workers and shoppers in the Glen Cove Road strip mall were expressing their thanks to Biundo on Monday.

"Thank God he was here, because it could have been worse," merchant Duke Hamer told Gusoff.

Lawmakers say the carbon monoxide scare underscores the need for laws requiring detectors in public places.

Nassau County Legislator Judy Jacobs sponsored the recently passed legislation in Nassau County after learning there was nothing on the books for stores, restaurants and movie theaters. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

"It was a terrible oversight, and tragically, people have died, and that just made no sense to me," Jacobs said.

Now, Nassau officials say they'll look into making wearable detectors standard issue for first responders.

Suffolk County passed a bill last month requiring carbon monoxide detectors in all county buildings.

Carbon monoxide kills 400 people in the United States every year.

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