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Exclusive: Man speaks out after family dies in Brampton carbon monoxide leak

A Brampton man who survived a carbon monoxide leak that killed three of his family members is speaking out about the importance of having CO detectors.

Paul Rampersaud lost his brother Peter Pitamber, sister-in-law Seeta and nephew Terry to carbon monoxide poisoning in March.

Emergency crews were called to Linden Crescent, near Queen Street and Dixie Road, in the early morning hours of March 17 after Rampersaud’s 29-year-old nephew had come home to find the carbon monoxide detector going off and five people unconscious inside the Brampton home.

A video of Rampersaud’s story was posted to YouTube by the Technical Standards and Safety Authority to coincide with the first Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week.

Rampersaud said he was staying at his brother’s house while dealing with the tragedy of losing their mother. The furnace had broken down and he said his brother brought in a heater attached to a propane tank.

“We had this heater at my restaurant, which I used numerous times when our heat broke down,” he explains in the video. “Never even thinking what damage this could have done.”

Rampersaud said a few hours later he was woken up by a banging at the door and his nephew calling his name. Two relatives dragged him to safety but they were unable to rescue his other family members.

Rampersaud said he hopes speaking out about his tragedy can save other lives.

“If one life is saved I think I did a lot,” he said.

Ontario made it mandatory for homes to have carbon monoxide detectors last month.

In accordance with Bill 77, detectors will be required near all sleeping areas in residential homes and in the service rooms (such as boiler rooms and garbage rooms) and next to sleeping areas in multi-residential units.

The new regulation updates Ontario’s fire code and is based on recommendations from the fire marshal and experts from fire services, the hotel and rental housing industries, condo owners and alarm makers.