3 found dead in Long Beach apartment from possible carbon monoxide poisoning

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The bodies of three people who may have been overcome by carbon monoxide fumes were found in a Long Beach apartment Monday evening, the coroner said.

The bodies of three people who may have been overcome by carbon monoxide fumes were found in a Long Beach apartment Monday evening, the coroner said.

The bodies were discovered around 7 p.m. on the 1100 block of Gardenia Avenue after officers received reports about a foul odor coming from one of the units.

Idelfonza Cruz says she smelled a powerful stench coming from the apartment next door. It got worse by the day, so she finally peeked inside and saw that her neighbors were dead.

Cruz contacted the manager, who got in touch with the owner.

"He got here, he opened the door, we seen the three dead bodies, closed it real quick and called the Long Beach Police Department," said apartment manager Dioser Quintero.

The bodies were badly decomposed, indicating the victims had been dead for several days.

Although the cause of death is unknown and will be officially determined by the coroner's office, a large portable propane heater was located inside the apartment, according to Long Beach police.

It appears the residents were using it for warmth, but investigators say those types of heaters are not intended for indoor use and can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide if the area is not adequately ventilated.

"They're utilizing these devices to stay warm, and the reality is, in an unventilated area, that's deadly," said Jake Heflin, a spokesman for the Long Beach Fire Department.

Heflin says carbon monoxide poisoning kills an average of 400 Americans annually.

"We're going out to the community, making sure the community is informed of the risks associated with carbon monoxide, to make sure that people are aware that carbon monoxide is odorless, tasteless, doesn't have a smell and it's deadly," Heflin said.

As for the three victims, Quintero says they had moved into the apartment on Jan. 2, the same time that a record cold snap hit Southern California.

The victims were only identified by the coroner as a 50-year-old man, a 30-year-old woman, and a man whose age was unknown. Their names were withheld pending notification of family members.

The investigation is ongoing.


Related Topics:
carbon monoxidebody foundLong Beach
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