According to HPD, officers and the Houston Fire Department were called to do a welfare check at a condominium in the 8300 block of La Roche near Jackwood in southwest Houston. When officials arrived, they found two adults and two children affected by carbon monoxide poisoning. The woman and one of the children, an 8-year-old girl, did not survive.
Police say upon entering the condo, they found the woman dead in her vehicle. The girl was found dead in the condo, which is attached to the garage that housed the running car. An adult male and a 7-year-old boy were transported to the hospital for carbon monoxide poisoning.
"Initial indications are that (a) car was running in the attached garage to create heat as the power is out," police wrote in a tweet. "Cars, grills and generators should not be used in or near a building."
Authorities say the woman was on the phone with a relative in Colorado while sitting in the running car when she became disoriented and passed out. The relative she was on the phone with then called HPD.
"It's a very difficult time. A lot of people are without power," Lt. Larry Crowson said. "I know it's cold, but you've got to be careful about using generators or cars inside a garage, or any type of fire, grill or charcoal grill. Carbon monoxide is odorless and can kill people very easily."
Carbon monoxide (CO) is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas that is dangerous and potentially poisonous if inhaled. Here are some tips to protect everyone in your building from potentially deadly CO poisoning.
Mild exposure to CO can cause:
- Slight headache
- Blurred vision
- Flu-like symptoms that disappear when the person breathes fresh air
Medium exposure can cause:
- Severe headache
- Rapid heart rate
- Cardiac/respiratory arrest
Treatment for CO exposure is fresh air or oxygen. Severe exposure requires medical attention.
If you suspect CO is present in your building:
- Open windows to ventilate the area.
- Shut off your furnace and other fuel-burning appliances.
- If you're experiencing physical symptoms, get everyone, including pets, out of your building.
- If you have an attached garage, open the largest garage door.
- If you suspect problems with your appliances, call your gas appliance dealer or CenterPoint Energy's Customer Service.
- If CO is discovered, don't return to your building until the source is found and the problem corrected.
- Get to fresh air and call 911.