STAMFORD — Police say 80-year-old Peter Mihalopoulos and Anna Mihalopoulos, 83, were discovered by a family member Monday morning after having succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.
Stamford police Capt. Richard Conklin said family members last spoke to the couple sometime on Friday. Calls to the couple on Sunday went unanswered.
On Monday their son-in-law arrived from his home in New York a little before 9 a.m. in order to do some work around the Long Ridge Road house where the Mihalopouloses had lived for 45 years, and to take them on errands and to medical appointments. Unable to get anyone to answer the front door, he went around the back and used a key to open the rear door.Once inside the house he found the couple in the living room, Conklin said.When police checked the attached first-floor garage, Conklin said they found a 2016 Ford Explorer with the keys in the ignition in the on position. The lights in the vehicle were on, but it was out of gas.It appears the vehicle was left on by mistake, he said.“These new cars run so quietly, sometimes you can be fooled to think it isn’t running when it really is,” Conklin said.Conklin said investigators have not yet been able to pin down the time of the last trip the Explorer was used for“It is so tragic. These people were very well thought of in the community and they were long-time residences of Stamford,” he said. “This was such a terrible, tragic accident to happen here.”The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has not yet made a determination of the manner or cause of death. An employee at the office said the determination is pending further study.Efforts to reach family members for this report have been unsuccessful.Stamford’s Chief Fire Marshal Walter Seely said carbon monoxide poisoning is a silent killer.“I can tell you that we have had issues in the past with people being poisoned, especially during power outages when people are using portable generators and running them inside the structure or attached garage,” Seely said. “The thing with carbon monoxide is it is odorless and tasteless and you can’t see it.”Seeley said he could not remember the last time carbon monoxide killed someone in Stamford. But about eight or 10 years ago he remembers a family of six or eight living above a market on West Main Street being poisoned. He said the store owner hadn’t paid the electricity bill and the service was shut off.The owner then began running a generator in the basement and attaching extension cords to his refrigerators, and unknowingly filling the building up with carbon monoxide. When someone in the family began feeling sick, an ambulance was called and the problem was discovered in time. Nobody died in the incident.He said the initial symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning mimic those of coming down with the flu. One may feel feverish, experience a headache and feel sleepy, he said.“The thing is with carbon monoxide is you have no idea it is there unless you have a detector because you can not see, taste or smell it,” Seeley said.Some smoke detectors are manufactured to detect carbon monoxide, but many do not, Seeley said. Health experts recommend that people install a carbon monoxide detector in their home.
Article from The Stamford Advocate
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