WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- After surviving Hurricane Laura, four members of a Louisiana family died when they inhaled leaked carbon monoxide in their home.
- A fifth member of the family, who were unable to evacuate due to health issues, was in critical condition.
- The category 4 storm battered the coast in the early hours of Aug. 27, leaving 21 deaths in Texas and Louisiana.
Four members of a Louisiana family were killed and a fifth was in critical condition after a generator leaked carbon monoxide into their home. The incident happened just hours after they survived Hurricane Laura.
Rosalie Lewis, her husband and three other relatives decided to stay in her Lake Charles home as the Category 4 storm battered the coast in the early hours of Aug. 27. Laura hit the area with 150-mph (240-kph) winds and a storm surge as high as 15 feet (4.5 meters).
Lewis and her family were unable to evacuate due to health conditions that would make travel difficult, The Advocate reported.
In 2005, Lewis’ home survived Hurricane Rita, suffering just little damage.
After the storm passed, emergency crews went to the house only to find Lewis, 81; her daughter, Kim Evans, 56; her son-in-law, Chris Evans, 61; and her brother, Clyde Handy, 72, dead. A generator placed in the garage filled the home with carbon monoxide during the night, according to authorities and relatives.
Lewis’ husband, John Lewis Sr., 84, survived but was taken to a hospital in critical condition, relatives said. He remained on life support until Wednesday.
The garage door was left open for air, but the winds from the storm must have closed it, allowing the toxic gas to enter into the home, Rosalie’s son, Lyle Lewis, 55, told The Daily Advertiser.
“They made it through the storm and there was a freak accident,” relative Patrick Perry told The Advocate.
Hurricane Laura left 21 people dead in Texas and Louisiana. Authorities said that almost half were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning from the unsafe operation of generators.
Rosalie Lewis, a well-known member of the Lake Charles community, was the first Black female postal service supervisor in southwest Louisiana. John Lewis Sr. drove trucks for 40 years.
Kim Lewis Evans and her husband Chris, who had been married for 30 years, often cared for her parents.
A funeral service for the four family members will be held on Sept. 12.