In an extremely sad story from FireRescue1, we learned that five people have been found dead of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at a home in a Washington D.C. suburb.
Two of the dead were found Tuesday by a relative who showed up at the home to check on their welfare, said Mark Brady, a fire department spokesman in Maryland's Prince George's County. Firefighters later found three more bodies in the home in the suburb of Oxon Hill.
Authorities said the investigation was centering on a flue pipe that showed signs of significant wear and tear, including holes that appeared capable of letting unhealthy levels of carbon monoxide seep into the home. A recent cold snap might have accounted for the furnace being operational, Brady said.
Firefighters detected extraordinarily high levels of carbon monoxide in the home, Brady added. A normal carbon monoxide reading is 0 to 5 parts per million and the reading taken at the home measured 550 parts per million.
Fire officials could not find any carbon monoxide detector, a device that could have served as an early warning.
Adam Thiel comments that this tragedy in Maryland highlights the dangers posed by carbon monoxide (CO) year-round, and across the United States. He warns that while we often associate carbon monoxide poisoning with the colder states and deep winter months, this story illustrates the fact that CO can kill anytime, anywhere.
To learn more, check out NFPA's carbon monoxide safety tips and information.