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Carbon monoxide poisoning from generator causes Irma-related death

The Henderson County Medical Examiner says carbon monoxide poisoning caused the death of an Edneyville man on Tuesday. (Photo credit: WLOS Staff)

The Henderson County Medical Examiner says carbon monoxide poisoning caused the death of an Edneyville man on Tuesday.

The man was one of thousands who didn't have power after Irma hit the area and was using a generator.

According to Edneyville Fire Chief Robert Griffin, the generator was in the basement and doors on a lower level garage were open.

"The recommendation is to keep them at least three feet from the house and do not bring them near windows or doors that are open into the house," said Chief Griffin.

Authorities aren’t releasing the name or address of the victim at this time. They also wouldn’t provide details on how high the levels of carbon monoxide were.

“Anytime we have a tragedy like this, it is surprising,” said Chief Griffin. “With the storm, we thought we were far enough from it, but we see how the dangers still affect us.”

The tragedy was a sad reminder for people to purchase carbon monoxide monitors, especially when using generators.

“It would have given him ample opportunity to get out,” said Greg Paul, Hendersonville Ace Hardware Owner. “The best way to recover from poisoning is fresh air.”

Monitors begin at $20. Some are battery operated while others plug into outlets. Paul recommends installing them in hallways close to bedrooms.

“A lot of times, if you have poisoning during the day you're going to know something is wrong because you'll have symptoms, but at night, there's no smell, there's no taste, it's a silent killer,” said Paul.

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