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Victim of Kitchener, Ont. carbon monoxide poisoning identified

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The man who died from carbon monoxide poisoning at a Kitchener, Ont. home on Tuesday has now been identified by family and friends as Nil Patel.

A spokesperson for the Patel family said the 25-year-old moved from India to Canada in 2018 and had recently graduated from Conestoga College.

“He was a very hard working boy,” said family spokesperson Don Patel, who is not related to Nil Patel. “That shows on that particular day also, he was the first to get up for work that day. He got up at 5 a.m., he was working from home, his work starts at 5:30 a.m.”

Nil Patel had been living in a townhome on Activa Avenue with other young people from the same region in India.

According to a GoFundMe page set up by his family, Patel had obtained his work permit in 2020 and was working tirelessly to get permanent residency.

“Nil had a dream, a dream that he would return back to India and visit his parents in the village of Moti Karod to show them his [permanent residency] status,” the post by Meghaben Patel read. “No one would have imagined that Nil is no longer with us, and left us in the way that he did.”

DEVASTATING DISCOVERY

On Tuesday morning, Patel was found dead in his Activa Avenue home from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Waterloo regional police and the Kitchener Fire Department said car had been left running in the garage and believed it to be accidental.

“We don’t know the exact theory as to why the car was left running,” Don Patel said. “The last person came into the house around 11 or 11:30 p.m. and the whole night the carbon monoxide was building up in the garage. I guess because nowadays the cars are so quiet he forgot whether it was on or off. He parked in the garage, probably forgot that he left the car running or was distracted, or they’re suggesting it might have started from the remote battery in his car.”

He added that Nil Patel started work early in the morning, so he likely got up early that day, opened the garage door and then collapsed.

Emergency crews responded to the home on Activa Avenue around 7:30 am. on Dec. 19, 2023. One person was killed and six others were taken to hospital. (Submitted)

The six other people living in the home were also taken to hospital. All are said to be in good condition and were released from the hospital on Wednesday.

“They allowed everyone to go back into the house, but emotions are running high,” explained Don Patel. “Some of the kids didn’t want to go back into the house, but unfortunately some didn’t have any other options. You have to start living life again. Unfortunately they lost a person but there’s not much they can do. They need to continue their studies also.”

According to Kitchener’s deputy fire chief, there were no working carbon monoxide alarms in the home.

COMMUNITY RALLIES TO HELP THE FAMILY

Thefamily set up a GoFundMe page with the goal of raising $20,000 to help bring Patel home.

“We are seeking donations to help send Nil back to India to complete his dream and where his family can complete his final rites,” the post read.

Don Patel said the family has been overwhelmed by the community’s response

“The $20,000 goal was reached very quickly with the generosity of the people,” Don Patel said. “It was still going on, so the family stopped it because it was at around $35,000 which was enough to cover his expenses [and] send him back to India with his loved ones.”

The family also updated the page to express their thanks.

“I do not have enough words to thank you all for your contributions in helping me and my family, whatever I say would not be enough,” Meghaben Patel said. “Please just know that we are forever grateful and will never forget your love and support when the family needed it the most. That being said, we have well surpassed our goal to help Nil (Raja) go back home to our parents for his final rites, and ask now only for your blessings and prayers.”

A viewing will held Friday night in Toronto so friends of Patel can say their final goodbyes before his body is flown back to India on Sunday.

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