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12/31/2013 2:00:00 PM
Couple Expected to Recover From Near Tragedy on Christmas
By Kathy Onorato

According to a report from Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Madeline and Mervin Parmenter of 53 Heath Road, in Whitefield, are expected to make a good recovery after the couple was exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide in their home on Christmas Day, Chief Deputy Ken Mason said Dec. 26.

According to the Parmenters' neighbor, Tim Morin, he received a call at about 11:30 a.m. from the couple's niece expressing concern they were not answering the phone.

Morin said he went over immediately and realized right away something was wrong. "He was in the recliner and turning blue and she was on the bed. I don't think they had 5 to 10 minutes left," Morin said.

He said he tried calling 9-1-1 from the Parmenters' phone but it wasn't working so he left and called from his home.

"I think I helped save their life (sic)," Morin said. "I am glad they are still here."

According to Whitefield Fire Chief Scott Higgins, when he arrived at the scene the Parmenters were both unconscious. "They were in pretty bad shape," Higgins said.

According to Higgins the home was tested for carbon monoxide before his crew entered the dwelling. The Parmenters' home tested 500 parts per million in the living area and 1000/ppm in the basement where a generator was located.

According to the U.S. Department of Environmental Protection Agency's website, home levels of carbon monoxide can vary from 0.5 to 5 ppm in homes without gas stoves. OSHA has set the work place limit of exposure to 50 ppm and serious health risk can result for exposure above 100 ppm.

Mervin Parmenter was transported to a Lewiston hospital by LifeFlight helicopter and his wife was transported to an Augusta hospital by Delta Ambulance. Whitefield Fire and Rescue and the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office also responded to the scene.

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