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5 dead apparently from carbon monoxide poisoning in Maryland home

NBCWashington.com

Emergency crews investigate the apparent carbon monixide poisoning of five people in Oxon Hill, Md.

Updated at 1:15 p.m. EDT: Five people died Tuesday morning from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in Oxon Hill, Md., Prince George's County officials told NBCWashington.com.

Firefighters said they found four men and one woman in the Shelby Drive home.

A family member became concerned when he called the home and no one picked up, so he visited the home around 10:45 a.m. EDT. He called 911 after finding two unconscious men near the entrance of the home, said Mark Brady, chief spokesperson of Prince George's County Fire and EMS.


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Rescue workers tried to revive those two men, but when others went further into the home, they found three more unconscious people in various rooms.

Brady said he believes they are all members of one family, but he’s not positive. Three of the men were in their 30s and one was in his 40s. The woman was in her 60s.

The family was from El Salvador, NBCWashington.com reported.

At a 1 p.m. news conference, fire officials said they found the house’s heating system was in disrepair. The furnace’s exhaust pipe was rusted and separated, officials said.

Also, the home had no carbon monoxide detector, which could have prevented the deaths, they said.

See carbon monoxide safety tips

The home's carbon monoxide levels were "extremely high" at about 550 parts per million, Brady said. Normal levels are 0 to 5 parts per million, he said.

The one-story single family home is about 1,900 square feet, and in a small home, the gas would have built up quickly.

"At that high a level of CO... it would not take them long to be overcome and suffer fatal injuries," Brady said.

They are currently unable to locate the source of the carbon monoxide, but are looking at the furnace and stove. Officials from Washington Gas Company are on the scene.

“We have been through this neighborhood several times, passing out information about CO and warning people of the dangers of CO,” Brady said. “This is not our first time being in the South Lawn neighborhood."

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