Tom and Christine “Chris” DiPietro were known for their passion for the community, hunting and their three tracking dogs.
“Everyone talks about my father because he was out there doing it but my mother was just as involved as he was,” said their son, Thomas “TJ” DiPietro, Jr.
The DiPietros were heavily involved in “leashed tracking dog” services. They trained tracking dogs.
“When a hunter wounds a deer and can’t recover it on his own, they bring in the dogs who can help them find that deer and recover it instead of leaving it in the woods,” said TJ DiPietro.
Their son TJ DiPietro is one of three children. The couple were also grandparents to five.
The DiPietros and their three dogs died in the Jericho home on Wednesday from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The deaths were ruled accidental by police.
“We loved them very much and we’re going to miss them,” said TJ DiPietro. “It’s a terrible tragedy but we’re happy that there’s so much interest and so much community support around here it’s been great.”
“It’s been tough on a lot of people,” said Underhill Jericho Fire Chief Mathew Champlin.
Chief Champlin responded to the incident.
The investigation found vent tubing for the home’s heating unit detached and the furnace was venting in the house.
The carbon monoxide levels were unattainable.
“They were beyond what our meters were capable of reading,” said Chief Champlin.
The Chief remembers happier times when Tom DiPietro spent five years as a volunteer firefighter beginning in 2008.
It was after a chimney fire at his own house.
“He viewed that response in the fire service as a way to give back to his community and that’s what Tom and Christine were about,” said Chief Champlin. “They were about their community.”
Their tragic deaths have created waves throughout the area.
Friday morning, Underhill Jericho fire crews were on their way to another carbon monoxide call.
“State Police dispatch came back and advised us that the alarm company had called back and it was just the family doing a test of their system,” said Chief Champlin. “A tragedy like this will raise that awareness within the community.”
Unfortunately, the DiPietro home did not have any carbon monoxide detectors.
“Your normal home heating system, propane, oil natural gas, can produce a large about of CO [carbon monoxide] if it’s not functioning properly and your best protection is to have a co detector in your house, properly positioned,” said Chief Champlin.