Three people died of carbon-monoxide poisoning from a generator running inside their Florida home after Hurricane Irma left them without power, while four other relatives were hospitalized in very serious condition, according to a report.
Neighbors of the Orlando family struck by tragedy on Tuesday learned about the deaths mostly through word of mouth in their Kingswood Manor neighborhood.
“My cable is out, so I sent my brother a text and he told me what happened,” resident Steve Whipple told the Orlando Sentinel. “I drive by them and wave at them all the time.”
Maria Tuzzeo, the treasurer of the neighborhood’s board, said she had last seen the family Monday as they cooked on the street.
“It’s such a shame,” Tuzzeo told the paper. “To see this, especially when children are involved … It’s a preventable thing.”
Tuzzeo said a family of five, including three minors, lived in the house.
“They used our park. The kids were out there all the time,” she said.
Neighbor Hank Huynh said the family often hosted barbecues and birthdays with live music in Spanish.
“They moved in just a couple of years ago — they’re good people,” said Huynh, who said he was shocked to learn about the accident despite warnings from officials about the risks from generators.
A dozen other people in Brevard and Polk counties were poisoned Tuesday by the toxic colorless, odorless gas from generators running in their garages.
The incidents should serve as a stark reminder for everyone dealing with power outages in Irma’s wake to keep their generators outside, a fire official said.
“All across the state, this power is going to be a big deal,” Titusville Fire Department Battalion Chief Greg Sutton told the Orlando Sentinel. “This is something that’s going to be going on for a long time.”