Resident's death ruled accidental from carbon monoxide poisoning

The state Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled the death of a Milford man Tuesday as accidental and caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Firefighters said Ralph Mastrianna, 55, had been working on a motorcycle in his garage at 144 Juniper Drive Tuesday when he was overcome by carbon monoxide.

Fire officials said there were no doors or windows open in the garage at the time.

On Tuesday, April 22, at 7:06 p.m., the Milford Fire Department responded to 144 Juniper Drive for a possible carbon monoxide (CO) problem.

The notification came by way of the Milford Hospital Emergency Room, after Mastrianna was taken in for cardiac arrest and tested high in CO levels. Firefighters entered the home with air packs and gas meters and detected elevated levels of CO and hydrogen cyanide in both the basement and the garage, where Mastrianna was originally found, according to Fire Department Spokesman Greg Carman.

Hydrogen cyanide is “a gas that can be produced by incomplete combustion, like carbon monoxide. It is not found from a natural gas leak.”

Hydrogen cyanide “acts on the body similar to CO by blocking oxygen from the bloodstream.”

The Milford Fire Department stressed the importance of having both working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors on all levels of the home.

“You should check them once a month and change the batteries twice a year,” Carman said. “Any detector that is over 10 years old should be replaced with a new one.”