CO from generator causes tragic deaths in Texas

A recent NBC News report has described how two men and two toddlers died from carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning created by a gas-powered generator in a room close to where they were sleeping. The incident happened at a home under construction in Dallas, Texas, where the two men were being employed by the owner of the property, who had given them permission for the overnight stay. The children were the 19-month old twin sons of one of the men, Nestor Martinez.

NBC claimed that this tragic case demonstrated that: “Generators are not safe to use indoors or in improperly ventilated areas.” According to Jason Evans, the Fire-Rescue Public Information Officer for Dallas:  “Even though they put it in a separate room from where they were sleeping, it ran long enough that the level was built up in the house and proved to be fatal to all the people.”

Our Carbon Monoxide Facts web page explains the potential hazards of using appliances such as gas stoves for indoor heating, and also reports astounding incidents such as: “In at least one case, carbon monoxide poisoning was caused by the use of a charcoal grill within an apartment’s bathtub.”

The fact that the Dallas fatalities occurred in a home in the process of being built illustrates how hazardous construction products can be when work is still in progress and suitable protective facilities have yet to be installed. When it comes to the silent menace of CO emissions, improvised heating measures can prove fatal. Clearly, this is also a case where a CO alarm could have warned the occupants of the imminent danger they were facing.