Police: Baby survived by ‘grace of God’ when parents died of carbon monoxide poisoning

Police: Baby survived by ‘grace of God’ when parents died of carbon monoxide poisoning
No one was supposed to be staying at the vacant Battle Creek, MI, home while it was being remodeled, but police say the family, who was helping with the project, didn’t have a vehicle. (Source: WOOD/CNN)

BATTLE CREEK, MI (WOOD/CNN) - Authorities say they’re amazed a 5-month-old boy is still alive after he was found alongside his unresponsive parents in a home with high levels of carbon monoxide.

A mother and father, both 19 years old, died from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning. They were found Wednesday morning in a Battle Creek, MI, home they were helping to renovate.

Next to his parents on an air mattress was the couple’s 5-month-old son. Though his parents were unresponsive, the contractor who found them saw the baby was still moving and immediately called 911, police say.

“We don’t know [how the baby survived] - the grace of God... Talking with medical personnel, with the levels of carbon monoxide that were in that house, the baby should’ve died," said Detective Sgt. Todd Elliott with the Battle Creek Police Department.

In parts of the house, investigators’ sensors showed levels of the gas more than twice the amount considered deadly.

“Just surviving in that concentration of carbon monoxide - and this is coming from medical personnel - it’s just amazing," said Elliott.

The infant was taken to the hospital for observation. His condition is unknown.

The baby’s parents were pronounced dead at the scene. Police say the couple was last seen alive around 7 p.m. Tuesday.

"This was a terrible accident where two young people died," Elliott said.

The house was vacant during remodeling. No one was supposed to be staying there, but Elliot said the family didn’t have a vehicle.

Police found a kerosene heater and gas generator in the house, which appeared to have been used overnight. The generator had apparently run out of gas.

“This is, unfortunately, a tragic reminder of a reason not to run a generator without proper ventilation,” Elliott said.

Police say kerosene or gas heaters should not be used for a primary heat source, and gas generators shouldn’t be operated inside buildings.

Child Protective Services is working to notify family and find relatives who could care for the baby, Elliot says.

The investigation did not reveal any signs of foul play, according to authorities, and the incident is being considered an accident.

Copyright 2019 WOOD via CNN. All rights reserved. Gray Television Group, Inc. contributed to this report.