A Houston, Texas, mother and her 8-year-old daughter are dead from carbon monoxide poisoning after the woman left a car running in the garage due to power outages and the bitter cold, according to the Houston Police Department.
That led to a warning from police that leaving a car running in the garage can be dangerous and is not a way to deal with either situation.
“Initial indications are that car was running in the attached garage to create heat as the power is out. Cars, grills and generators should not be used in or near a building,” Houston police wrote on Twitter.
“This is so heartbreaking,” Houston police chief Art Acevedo said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Please bundle up and be aware of the extreme danger carbon monoxide poses for us. Praying for this family.”
On February 16, ABC13 reported that more than 1 million Houstonians remained without power in frigid cold temperatures – but the city’s skyline remained lit up, enraging many.
The victims have not been identified.
Here’s what you need to know:
Two Adults & Two Children Were Affected by the Carbon Monoxide Poisoning, Police Say
According to Houston police, “Mid West officers and HFD were dispatched to 8300 La Roche on a welfare check. Upon making entry they found two adults and two children affected by carbon monoxide poisoning. The adult female and female child did not survive. The adult male and male child were transported.”
Daily Mail reported that the deceased woman and child were mother and daughter and that the father and son were taken to the hospital and survived.
Bad weather continues in Houston. Houston police wrote on the afternoon of February 16, “Stay home and stay safe. The roads remain icy and will ice again tonight. It is not safe to be driving.” Police also noted on Twitter, “Wih the power outages, traffic lights do not function in the effected areas. If you approach an intersection that the traffic lights are not working. Treat these intersections as four way stops. Use caution.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns, Carbon monoxide (CO) is “an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause sudden illness and death, is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned. CDC works with national, state, local, and other partners to raise awareness about CO poisoning and to monitor, evaluate, and present CO-related illness and death surveillance data in the U.S.”
According to the CDC, “CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.”
The Woman Was Found Dead in Her Vehicle
According to ABC 13, when Houston police arrived, they “found the woman dead in her vehicle.”
The girl who died was in a condo, which is attached to the garage, the television station reported.
The tragedy came shortly after a similar incident involving carbon monoxide poisoning reported by the Cy-Fair Fire Department, which wrote on Twitter, “Crews are responding to a multi-person carbon monoxide poisoning in the 8500 block of Easton Commons Dr. in Houston. 6 patients, including 4 children are being transported for carbon monoxide poisoning. Please remember to never heat your home with a grill or oven.”
What are the symptoms of CO poisoning? “The most common symptoms of CO poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain, and confusion,” the CDC reports.
The CDC warns, “Never run your car or truck inside a garage that is attached to a house even with the garage door open. Always open the door to a detached garage to let in fresh air when you run a car or truck inside.”