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One person dead after carbon monoxide sickens an Oxon Hill couple twice in two days


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Published on: Sunday, November 18, 2012

By Jim Davis

For the second time this year residents of an Oxon Hill neighborhood are reeling from the death of a neighbor from a carbon monoxide leak at home.

Around 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 13, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department responded to a home in the 1100 block of Wentworth Drive for a man in his seventies reportedly not feeling well. The man was transported to a local hospital.

The next day, the Fire Department was called back to the same house for the man’s wife. She was feeling ill and was also transported to a local hospital. 

Several hours later on Wednesday, a neighbor found another man dead in the same house. The man was in his fifties and reportedly had diabetes.

On Thursday, the Fire Department responded once again to the Wentworth Drive house for the husband and wife who were sick last Tuesday and Wednesday, respectively. At that point, the ambulance crew was informed of the past incidents and determined something was wrong inside the house, said PGFD spokesman Mark Brady. Additional Fire Department units and the county’s Hazardous Materials Team were called to the scene, Brady said.

When the additional units arrived, they discovered a high rate of carbon monoxide inside the house due to a disconnected furnace vent.  

Brady said that each time a different ambulance or crew responded to the scene, crews were not informed by the residents of the prior calls to the house.    

“They had no idea of a relationship with these illnesses and death to possible carbon monoxide exposure,” Brady said.

The colorless, odorless gas, Brady said, needs to be taken seriously.

“It’s going to affect you, and the only time you know you’re feeling affected by CO it’s too late because you’re sick,” Brady said. “The best and only way to detect CO in your home is to purchase and install a CO detector.”

Brady urges residents to have carbon monoxide detectors in their homes to prevent another incident like this.

In April, five people died because of a carbon monoxide leak in their home, located only two blocks away from the Wentworth Drive residence.

Prince George’s County residents may receive a free carbon monoxide detector and smoke alarm from Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department by calling 301-864-SAFE (7233).

“They can have us stop by and install the detectors for no charge,” Brady said.

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