Father dies in bakery gas poisoning
The man’s wife and a co-worker discovered the 43-year-old dead at a bakery in the outer eastern suburb of Ferntree Gully about 7am.
A 23-year-old man was taken to the Maroondah Hospital where he is in a stable condition.
Police said a petrol-fuelled generator was operating inside the bakery in anticipation of scheduled power outages this weekend and the building had insufficient ventilation.
Knox Police Sergeant Ian Marr said poisonous carbon monoxide fumes would have filled the building, much like a car exhaust in an enclosed space.
“The family’s distraught,” he said.
“Obviously it’s a tragedy, it’s compounded by the fact that it’s Father’s Day and two children have lost their dad today.”
A co-worker contacted the dead man’s wife when he could not get into the bakery at 6.30am to start work.
They found the two workers unconscious in a rest-room at the back of the building.
Emergency services pronounced the 43-year-old dead on site and took the younger man to hospital.
The pair had been working at the bakery since at least midnight.
Sgt Marr said the dead man had two sons of primary-school age.
He said the death was not considered suspicious and police were preparing a report for the coroner.
WorkSafe is also investigating.
Sgt Marr said the incident was a tragic reminder of the need to exercise caution when using petrol generators intended for use outdoors.
“They need to be used in well ventilated areas, they’re an internal combustion,” he said.
“It’s just a petrol engine, it’s like your car it spits out carbon monoxide and it needs enough room to ventilate, get rid of the gas, and unfortunately there was no way for the gas to escape.’