Local News

Durham Man Dies From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Posted December 7, 2002

— A 31-year-old Hispanic man died of carbon monoxide poisoning early Saturday morning.

According to Durham County officials, the man was one of eight family members who lived in the same house, all of whom received carbon monoxide poisonng.

The family reportedly was trying to stay warm by burning charcoal inside the home.

Seven of the residents were taken to area emergency rooms. Two were in critical condition at Duke Hospital Saturday morning - an adult female and a 6-month-old infant.

The conditions and locations of the other five were unknown Saturday morning.

The dead man's name was not released. His body will be taken to the medical examiner for an autopsy.

According to reports, an emergency call came in at 6:42 a.m. Saturday. Crews were dispatched within 17 seconds.

Authorities believe the death was the first death in the region resulting from burning charcoal inside for heat.

There have been numerous cases of CO poisoning reported in the Triangle. WakeMed officials said they knew of 38 cases as of Friday afternoon.

Officials at Rex Healthcare said they had seen 10 patients Friday with carbon monoxide-related problems.

An official in Durham said 160 patients have been treated at Duke University Medical Center for carbon monoxide-related problems since Thursday. Most have been from people bringing grills into homes, and most of the patients treated have been Latino.

Of the 160 treated, 12 were admitted to the hospital.

Durham Emergency Management said it will send spanish-speaking National Guardsmen door-to-door in the Hispanic community to warn people of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.

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