The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

State News

January 21, 2013

Carbon monoxide confirmed as cause of 2 deaths

CLAIRTON — Carbon monoxide poisoning has been confirmed as the cause of death of a pair of lifelong friends in western Pennsylvania, and authorities are urging people to be sure they have detectors for the colorless and odorless gas.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office confirmed Sunday that acute carbon monoxide poisoning killed 56-year-old William Chapman and 47-year-old Gary Townsend in the Clairton house on Saturday.

The medical examiner's office ruled the deaths accidental and said the source of the carbon monoxide is still under investigation, but officials said the victims were found wearing coats because the furnace was not working properly.

Firefighters said the gas gauges showed a carbon monoxide reading of 500, which is 50 times the level that is considered safe.

 

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