Bellone Signs Bill to Put Carbon Monoxide Detectors in All County Buildings

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signed a bill Wednesday to put carbon monoxide detectors in all county buildings.

The new law is named for Steve Nelson, the manager of the Legal Seafoods restaurant in Huntington Station, who died of carbon monoxide poisoning on Feb. 22 because of a leak in a faulty water heater. 

Bellone said the Steve Nelson Safety Act provided “common sense measures that will go a long way in protecting our residents and employees."

Legis. William “Doc” Spencer, D-Centerport, and Legis. John Kennedy, R-Nesconset, said the Department of Public Works would install carbon monoxide detectors in all buildings that are owned and leased by Suffolk County, including the buildings at Suffolk County Community College. The Suffolk County Department of Fire, Rescue and Emergency Services will then ensure that the detectors operate properly during regular inspections of County buildings.

Nelson’s partner, John Largan, spoke emotionally of Nelson’s life and loss at Wednesday’s press conference in Hauppauge. 

“I was honored to have him in my life as my dearest friend and my companion,” Largan said. 

He said Nelson had had a rash and constant headaches in the days leading up to his death.

“The Tuesday before he died, he came home and he kneeled next to the bed, burying his head in his hands and said, ‘John, I feel like I’m dying’,” Largan said.

Two dozen others were treated the night of the leak for exposure to the deadly gas.

Nelson, 55, was a resident of Copiague.


Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone signs the Steve Nelson Safety Act. At left Nelson’s partner John Largan; at right, Nelson’s son David. At rear are Suffolk County Chief Fire Marshal Ed Springer, Legislator Sarah Anker, Legislator William Lindsay III,  Steve Nelson’s brother Don, and Legislators Kara Hahn, John Kennedy and William “Doc” Spencer.

Bellone speaks about carbon monoxide safety. At left, Legislator William “Doc” Spencer. At right, Legislator John Kennedy.

Bellone, County Chief Fire Marshal Ed Springer with detectors, Legislator William”Doc” Spencer and Bob Williams of Briscoe Protective Systems.

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