ROSLYN HEIGHTS, N.Y. (AP) â€” Six people were killed when an air conditioner absorbed carbon monoxide from a nearby furnace and pumped it throughout the house while they slept. An alarm that could have detected the poisonous gas had been turned off.
Dr. Andrei Kranz, 46, discovered the bodies of his parents, his 2-year-old daughter, two house guests and a baby sitter Sunday morning. Kranz's wife and 17-year-old daughter were visiting relatives in Romania.
Kranz later told police he had disconnected his home's carbon-monoxide alarm because it buzzed repeatedly and he thought it was malfunctioning.
The air conditioner had one intake vent closed and another clogged with leaves, so it could draw air only from the room it shared with the natural-gas furnace, investigators said. The temperature in the neighborhood was about 60 degrees overnight.
Neighbor Debbi Annunziata said she saw a stunned Kranz carry his dead daughter from the Long Island house. ``He was in shock,'' Annunziata said. ``She was just lying across, lifeless. He was hysterical.''
The victims were identified as Victoria Kranz, 74; Marcus Kranz, 85; Simina Kranz, 2; Emil Ioan Campeanu, 75; Maria Mihaela Campeanu, 68; and Emilia Dumtru, 58, the family baby sitter. The Campeanus and Dumtru were from Romania.
Kranz, 46, a radiology, was treated at a hospital for exposure to carbon monoxide.
Police were investigating and said foul play had been ruled out.
``This could have all been so easily avoided,'' neighbor Donna Bernstein said after learning that the detector had been turned off.