MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A father from Savage says he is “absolutely shocked” that his 4-year-old son is gone.
Ian Nguyen died over the weekend along with his mother’s parents, who were taking care of him at the time at their Raddison, Wisconsin home.
Carbon monoxide poisoning appears to be the cause of their deaths.
Investigators say their new heater is likely to blame, which they say was not properly installed and was leaking the odorless fumes.
Born in 2013, Ian made his kind-and-bouncy presence known. His father Ken says he loved to jump and play. He was also a natural at grabbing stuffed animals from the glass case, a game that can be difficult for adults.
“He said, ‘Ian passed away,’ and I thought it was a joke,” Ken said. “My heart just broke and it just shattered.”
Ken says anger flooded his heart in the initial moments, but grace took over.
“In my mind, my son passed and there’s just no one to blame, and there’s nothing else I can do at this point besides just, you know, let him rest in peace.”
Ken has been holding on tight to memories, spending the past few nights clinging to his son’s toys.
He is working to make plans to honor little Ian, making sure his joyful and energetic son is peacefully laid to rest.
“I love him more than anything else, I love him so much,” Ken said. “I rather be the one that passed so I could live.”
Ken is going to Wisconsin Wednesday morning, where the family will have a private cremation service to honor their beloved Ian.
He says they will have a public service in Minneapolis.
Safety experts say this is a very important time of year to talk about carbon monoxide.
The odorless, colorless gas can leak from a furnace if there is a crack in a heat exchanger. The fumes can be toxic and are hard to detect without help.
“People don’t think about it particularly in the residential side, don’t really think about it, it’s kind of out of sight, out of mind,” said John Owens of Owens Air Conditioning and Heat. “But people, we recommend twice a year inspections on the furnace and air.”
Owens recommends detectors that sense even low levels of carbon monoxide, which are more expensive but more protective.
It is best to replace carbon monoxide detectors every five to seven years.