EAST MEADOW, N.Y. (WPIX) — A Long Island pediatrician is being hailed as a hero for keeping 14 people from potentially being poisoned to death in a carbon monoxide (CO) gas leak. He helped to dispatch his own fire department to the family’s home.

Dr. John Zaso, who doubles as a volunteer firefighter in the Long Island hamlet of East Meadow, used his skills from both jobs to diagnose that the family of one of his young patients was actively suffering carbon monoxide poisoning. “First thing I said immediately was, ‘Open your windows get out of the house and call 911,’” he recalled.

Zaso said he got an urgent call from the mother of a 3-week-old infant patient of his late Monday night. She said her baby appeared sick and mentioned that a number of the family members in their house had started feeling sick within the past several hours. According to the CDC, CO is an odorless, colorless gas produced by burning fossil fuels that “can cause sudden illness and death.”

Fourteen people, all related, were living in the home. The mother told Zaso that she would call 911 and evacuate the home. But when Zasso grabbed the dispatch radio he uses as a firefighter, he said he never heard the call for help come through. So he called the mother back immediately.

“I said, ‘Get out of the house now!’—in some colorful language,” Zaso said. “I then called and had the fire department dispatched to the scene.“

Zaso helped dispatch first responders from the East Meadow Fire Department, along with Nassau County’s ambulance bureau and police. He also went to the scene himself, where he and his team found deadly levels of carbon monoxide in areas of the family’s home.

“Without any protection, within 30 seconds, you’re disoriented and unconscious at that level,” Zaso said about how toxic the basement had become. He said that had he not followed up, the family of 14 likely would have gone to bed and died in their sleep. “They wouldn’t have woken up in the morning. They would’ve asphyxiated in their sleep.”

Eleven of the 14 people in the home were hospitalized to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. But because of Zaso’s quick response, no one died. The family is doing better and is grateful to him and the other first responders who helped them, Zaso said. If there’s one thing to take away from this story, he said to ensure that CO detectors work on every level of your home.