BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (WOOD) — A 5-month-old boy was found alive Wednesday in the Battle Creek house where his parents died from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning.
The parents were identified by police on Thursday as 20-year-old Brandon Bull of Bronson and 19-year-old Cylie Canniff of Coldwater.
While fire officials were investigating inside the house, sensors showed carbon monoxide levels on the first floor were 700 parts per million and above 900 parts per million on the second floor. Fire officials said carbon monoxide detectors alert at 35 parts per million and levels can be deadly at 400 parts per million.
“We don’t know (how the baby survived). The Grace of God. It was, with the, talking with medical personnel, with the levels of carbon monoxide that were in that house, the baby should’ve died,” said Detective Sgt. Todd Elliott with the Battle Creek Police Department.
Elliott said the couple was last seen alive around 7 p.m. Tuesday. A contractor who was working on remodeling the house found them unresponsive on an air mattress with the infant around 8 a.m. Wednesday.
The baby, whose name is not being released, was taken to the hospital for observation. Police said Thursday he is expected to survive.
“Just surviving in that concentration of carbon monoxide, and this is coming from medical personnel, it’s just, it’s amazing,” said Elliott.
Bull and Canniff died at the scene. Police initially said both were 19, but later revised that to say Bull was 20.
“This was a terrible accident where two young people died,” Elliott said.
The house, located in the 2200 block of Capital Avenue SW, was vacant but being remodeled by a friend of the homeowner. Bull was helping with the remodel.
He, Canniff and their baby where supposed to stay somewhere else for the night, police say. However, Elliott said they didn’t have a vehicle.
Police said a kerosene heater and gas generator were found in the house and appeared to have been used overnight. Elliott said based on the size of the generator, it could run for 8-10 hours. It was off when the contractor arrived. Elliott said it appeared the generator had run out of gas.
Elliott said the heater was in the kitchen and the family was found on a mattress up against the wall in a sunken family room, steps away. The generator was positioned at the front door.
“This is unfortunately a tragic reminder of a reason not to run a generator without proper ventilation,” Elliott said.
BCPD said the incident serves as a reminder to not use kerosene or gas heaters for a primary heat source or to operate gas generators inside buildings.
“Put the generator outside…. Don’t run any kind of a gas engine inside a building,” Elliott emphasized.
Elliott said Children’s Protective Services is working to notify family and find relatives who could care for the baby.
The Battle Creek Fire Department wants to remind the community that they are providing smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors for their homes, while supplies last. The devices are available at the Battle Creek fire station located at 195 E. Michigan Ave. For more information, call the fire department at 269. 966.3519.