A family of five is in hospital with carbon monoxide poisoning after using a petrol generator to power the appliances in their house. They were found semi-conscious after one of them managed to ring a friend for help.
Neighbours are now questioning why they moved in before the electricity was connected.
Neighbours say the family of five had moved into their West Auckland home just hours before emergency services were saving their lives.
The family, believed to be of Indian descent and aged from nine to 53, were desperate for power and had spent the previous two days asking neighbours if they could hook up to theirs.
“He just out of the blue asked if he could borrow power,” says neighbour Ian Campbell. “And I said no. It's illegal.”
3 News has been told the power company wouldn't connect power at the new house until today. So yesterday, the family set up a petrol generator in their garage.
Mr Campbell said at 10pm the house was, in his words, “lit up like a Christmas tree”.
“About two minutes later I heard a scream,” says Mr Campbell. “I came outside and I thought they were arguing. At the same time I heard what I thought was a lawn mower. And I thought, ‘That's strange. Who would want to mow the lawns at that time?’”
Two hours later the family was violently ill, vomiting and semi-conscious, poisoned from carbon monoxide from the generator.
One occupant managed to ring a friend, begging for help.
“It was a generator inside, a diesel generator inside,” says Mr Campbell. “It is an accident waiting to happen. Any of them are lucky to be alive.”
Mr Campbell is a builder. He said the house wasn't safe to live in.
“They don't even have a driveway. Go figure. The house isn't finished.”
Mr Campbell believes the family owns the home. He doesn't think they'll be back. The house was being aired all day, while fire and police investigated.
The five occupants of the house are now in the North Shore Hospital in a stable condition. They will remain there for a few days.