WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Firefighters Check For Detectors As Neighbors Reel From CO Deaths

Play associated audio
Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor speaks to reporters outside the Oxon Hill home where five people were found dead April 24, likely from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Matt Bush
Prince George's County Fire Chief Marc Bashoor speaks to reporters outside the Oxon Hill home where five people were found dead April 24, likely from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Firefighters in Prince George's County are going door to door this morning in an Oxon Hill neighborhood checking for carbon monoxide detectors. It comes a day after five people were found dead inside a home in the area; investigators believe they were killed by levels of carbon monoxide more than 100 times the normal rate.

The deaths of a married couple, the married woman's sister, and two other men shook the community around Shelby Drive in Oxon Hill, just a short distance from the Indian Head Highway exit off the Capital Beltway. 

Pastor Tomas Aguilar presides at a church that some of the deceased attended; the couple's son is a deacon at the church. 

"It's a great sorrow to see the loss of any life that brings good to this earth," Aguilar said in Spanish as people gathered near the home Tuesday. "They were lovely people that never harmed anyone. Now, we have to come together to support those who are grieving."

One of the women who died had just returned Monday night from a hospital after undergoing back surgery, according to her daughter. The heat was likely on high that night because of colder temperatures outside, says Prince George's County fire chief Marc Bashoor. Investigators found the pipes from the heating system had rusted and separated.

"There is no indication of anything other than a tragic loss here, a tragic accident," Bashoor said during a press conference Tuesday.

The firefighters' message is simple this morning as they canvass the area.

"Have a carbon monoxide detector in your home ... just like smoke alarms. We preach it everyday, I'm preaching it now. Have a carbon monoxide detector," Bashoor said. "It's slightly lighter than air, so you should put it up near the ceiling. You should put it near your sleeping area."

Over the past two months, Prince George's County emergency responders received four calls from the Shelby Drive neighborhood regarding suspected carbon monoxide leaks in that area, the chief said.

"That's not unusual for any neighborhood of this age," said Bashoor. "A lot of these homes were built post-World War II. There's a lot of older heating systems."

Firefighters canvassed the area raising awareness of carbon monoxide poisoning after those calls, just like they will do again this morning.

NPR

Far From 'Infinitesimal': A Mathematical Paradox's Role In History

It seems like a simple question: How many parts can you divide a line into? The troublesome answer was square at the root of two of Europe's greatest social crises.
NPR

Soup to Nuts, Restaurants Smoke It All

While you won't find cigarettes in restaurants anymore, some smoking isn't banned. It's not just meat, either; it's hot to smoke just about anything edible.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia Remains At Odds With Feds On Medicaid Expansion

Lawmakers in Virginia continue to resist the $9.6 billion Medicaid expansion on offer from the federal government as part of the Affordable Care Act.

NPR

Who Should Pay To Keep The Internet's Locks Secure?

Fortune 1000 companies rely on the open source software OpenSSL for their core business. Two-thirds of websites use it. But no one pays for it and it's never had a complete security audit.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.