WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- A woman and a female child were reported by Houston police early Tuesday to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning during a welfare check at their condominium.
- They also found an adult male and a young boy showing symptoms of CO poisoning and were immediately sent to the hospital.
- Initial investigations showed that the woman and child were trying to keep warm by running a car attached to the garage to heat their apartment due to a power outage caused by the winter storm.
Amid freezing temperatures, a woman and an 8-year-old girl were found in a Houston condominium, dead of carbon monoxide poisoning after running a car in an attached garage to generate heat, authorities confirmed.
Two others- an adult male and a 7-year-old boy- were also found suffering from the effects of carbon monoxide poisoning and were promptly taken to the hospital, Houston Chronicle reported.
The four people were discovered by Houston Police Department officials and members of the Houston Fire Department who were dispatched to 8300 La Roche for a welfare check.
“Initial indications are that [a] car was running in the attached garage to create heat as the power is out,” according to a statement released Tuesday on Twitter by the police department. “Cars, grills and generators should not be used in or near a building.”
Apparently, the woman was on the phone talking to a relative in Colorado while sitting in the idling car when she suddenly passed out, KTRK reported. The relative then reportedly alerted Houston police, who found the woman dead in the vehicle and the girl dead inside the condo.
“This is so heartbreaking,” said Chief of Police Art Acevedo in a statement. “Please bundle up and be aware of the extreme danger carbon monoxide poses for us. Praying for this family.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless and flammable gas that is produced any time fuel is burned in cars, engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces and gas ranges.
CO is potentially poisonous when inhaled, and it has reportedly killed people in their sleep even before showing symptoms which are described as “flu-like”.
The CDC suggests using a battery-operated CO detector instead in your home which should be checked at least twice a year. The agency also advised against using portable flameless chemical heaters or generators inside homes as well as having yearly checks on your appliances by a qualified technician.
Texas was gripped by a winter storm on Monday leaving at least 4 million residents without power as temperatures plunged into single digits. Over 300 cases of CO poisoning have so far been reported in Harris County over the last few days.