After two police officers tried to save a woman found dead inside her house in the Northwest Woods in East Hampton on Monday afternoon they were overcome by exposure to carbon monoxide.
At 4:26 p.m., East Hampton Town police received a request to check on the well-being of a 61-year-old woman at a house at 7 Cattalo Circle, according to Detective Lt. Chris Anderson. A friend of the woman's had been unable to reach her and was worried, he said.
Sgt. Daniel S. Roman and Officer Thomas Strong arrived to find a hand-written note on the front door indicating that carbon monoxide may be present in the house, Anderson said.
"They did enter the residence in an attempt to remove her from the house," Anderson said.
The officers found her body in a bedroom, and retreated as they became overcome from the effects of the gas, Anderson said.
Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas, and is odorless and difficult to detect.
The woman's death is under investigation. "There does not appear to be any foul play," Anderson said. Police have identified the source of the carbon monoxide, but Anderson declined to release the information.
The East Hampton Fire Department and the East Hampton Village Ambulance Association were called to the house.
Emergency medical personnel treated the two officers, and transported them to Southampton Hospital. They were released later that night.
Fire Chief Tom Bono said he found "extremely high levels" of carbon monoxide in the house. "The meter was going off even outside of the house," he said.
Firefighters donned personal protective gear and air packs while they aired out the house by opening windows and doors and setting up fans. Bono called a third ambulance to the house to standby as a precaution, he said. "We made it safe so the police department could do their job," he said.