DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – Authorities believe two people died of carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator at a southern Michigan home during widespread power outages from last week’s windstorm.
Police say 75-year-old Lonnie Sibbett and 70-year-old Leona Sibbett were found dead Friday evening at the home in Leoni Township, about 70 miles west of Detroit.
Officers found extremely high levels of carbon monoxide in the house and in the enclosed garage where the generator was running according to Public Safety Director Mike Jester.
The house had lost electric service according to reports.
Utility companies say electricity has been restored to more than 90 percent of the some 1.1 million Michigan homes and businesses that lost power from Wednesday’s powerful winds.
DTE Energy estimates all power will be restored by late Monday.
Jester cautioned all people during power outages — the danger of carbon monoxide — which is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gas, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel. Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, may allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels. When a generator is used inside an attached garage, especially with the door shut, those gases will make their way into the residence.
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