Funeral tomorrow for gas victim William Stockdale
High levels of carbon monoxide found in house following death of man (60)
The funeral of a man who died suddenly in Newcastle at the weekend will take place tomorrow.
William Stockdale died after an incident at his house involving suspected carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service said five people, including two paramedics, were taken to hospital after they were called to help the 60-year-old at his Castlewellan Road home on Friday night.
They said members of the ambulance crew started to feel ill and a fire crew called to the scene found high levels of the deadly gas.
It is understood Mr Stockdale, a father-of-two and grandfather, had recently been unwell.
Those taken to the Ulster Hospital after the incident were released following treatment.
Rev Canon Ian Ellis, rector of St John's Church in Newcastle, will conduct Mr Stockdale's funeral from the family home. Local resident Dessie Patterson said he went to school with Mr Stockdale and was saddened to hear of his passing.
He said Mr Stockdale came from a farming family and was a long-term resident of the town.
"All the locals are very shocked. It is a complete tragedy altogether," he added.
Sinn Fein councillor Willie Clarke said Mr Stockdale's death brought back memories of the deaths of Nan and Francie O'Reilly, who were the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning in Bonny's Caravan Park in Newcastle in January 2015.
"I do not know what happened in this case, but carbon monoxide is a silent killer," he said.
South Down SDLP MP Margaret Ritchie said she was "shocked and saddened".
"The thoughts and prayers of the entire community are with them (the family) today," she said.
"We must never forget the daily risk our emergency services take to protect the public. Their bravery must be commended." John McPoland of the Ambulance Service said paramedics were called after reports that a 60-year-old man was suffering from shortness of breath.
Mr McPoland said that, while delivering treatment, the paramedics and three other people in the property started to feel unwell "with chest pain, headaches and nausea".
"The crew recognised that these were potential symptoms for carbon monoxide poisoning and immediately called the Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS)," he added.
"The NIFRS arrived to take readings and their readings indicated high levels of carbon monoxide."
Mr McPoland commended the paramedics involved and said they had saved lives.
"The actions of the crew were unbelievable," he said.
Police said a multi-agency investigation was under way.
The Health and Safety Executive said it was aware of the death.