Carbon monoxide suspected in two Durham deaths
Posted February 4, 2015
Durham, N.C. — Two people were found dead inside a Durham home Wednesday morning, and authorities suspect carbon monoxide poisoning as the cause of death.
Authorities received a 911 call at about 10:15 a.m. from someone who went to 520 Spruce St. and found a woman unconscious, said Durham Fire Department spokesman Chris Ianuzzi. When crews arrived, they also found a man unconscious in the house, he said.
Both people were later pronounced dead. Police identified them as Walter Melvin III, 50, and Ashley Brandon, 27. Relatives of Melvin said Brandon was five months pregnant.
"I still feel like I need to wake up, and it all be a dream or a nightmare," said Melvin's cousin, Theresa Parker. "Words are hard to describe."
The house belonged to a cousin of Melvin, relatives said, and Melvin and Brandon were living there temporarily.
Ianuzzi said a portable generator was inside the home, and investigators believe toxic fumes from the generator were the likely cause of death.
Melvin's family said the generator is usually in the backyard, and they found it strange for it to be moved inside, noting Melvin would have known better than to run the generator in the house.