Family mourns parents, son found dead of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning
Kendra Mangione and Fan-Yee Suen, CTV Toronto
Published Monday, March 17, 2014 6:09AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, March 17, 2014 9:23PM EDT
A Brampton man who was found dead with his wife and son in a suspected case of carbon monoxide poisoning is being remembered as a "respected businessman" who built a "strong home" for his family.
Peter Pitamber, 60, his 59-year-old wife Seeta, and their 36-year-old son Terry were found dead on the ground floor of their home early Monday, a family member confirmed to CTV Toronto.
Two other men, whom police identified as a family member and a family friend, were found unconscious in the home's basement. They were transported to hospital and are expected to survive.
The deaths were discovered when the couple's son Jerry, 29, returned to the home at 2 Linden Cres., near Dixie Road and Queen Street, at 1:55 a.m. When he arrived home, he noticed that the carbon monoxide detector was sounding.
"I came home and I tried to save all of them, but it didn't work," Jerry Pitamber told CTV Toronto. "Everybody was knocked out. My dad was lying on the floor. My brother was in a bed. My mom was in a bed."
"Today has been an unimaginable and horrific day for our family. The past few weeks have been extremely difficult as we have been grieving another close family member," family member Paul Rampersaud said in a statement.
"Peter Pitamber came to this country from Guyana over three decades ago….he became a respected businessman and active member of the Brampton community. Peter built a strong home for his family."
Police said the family's furnace broke on Sunday and that they'd been using two portable propane heaters indoors to keep the house warm.
"The propane heaters are what we're looking at as the cause of the believed carbon monoxide poisoning," Const. Fiona Thivierge told reporters on scene.
Firefighters later reported the detected carbon monoxide levels at more than double the fatal dose.
The chief coroner's office will be conducting autopsies to determine the exact cause of death, but "everything's pointing toward carbon monoxide," Thivierge said.
Police will also be looking at the carbon monoxide alarm to make sure it was functioning properly.
Meanwhile, police are warning the public never to use fossil fuels to heat a home unless it is well-ventilated.