Two Dead After Apparent Carbon Monoxide Poisoning
Battle Creek Police and Fire Department were notified of two unresponsive people in a house at 2290SW Capital Avenue on Wednesday morning, shortly after 8am. When they arrived, they found a 19 year old Coldwater woman, a 19 year old Bronson man and a five month old boy. The man and woman were pronounced dead, but the baby was still alive and transported to an area hospital for treatment.
Police say the house was vacant but was being remodeled by a friend of the homeowner. The deceased man was helping with the remodel and he, the woman and baby had been brought to the house yesterday but were supposed to stay elsewhere for the night. No one was supposed to be staying at the house, but the man, woman and baby had a temporary bed set up inside. There was also a gas generator and kerosene forced air heater (salamander) inside the house that appeared to have been used overnight. The man had arrived at the house to do work on it and found the two unresponsive and the baby was still moving, so he immediately called 911.
While looking through the house with the Fire Department, sensors showed carbon monoxide levels on the first floor were 700ppm and were above 900ppm on the second floor. Fire officials said standard carbon monoxide detectors alert at 35ppm and death can occur at 400ppm. No one else was found in the house.
Our investigation did not show any signs of foul play. The homeowner was contacted and confirmed that the house was being worked on. The man that found the deceased couple had been working on the house and using the generator and heater during the day. A City building inspector was called out and he did not find any violations.
Police say this serves as a reminder to not use kerosene or gas heaters for a primary heat source or to operate gas generators inside buildings.
No names are being released at this time, pending notification of next of kin.