A Maryland man has died and six people have been hospitalized for apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said.
Officials in Howard and Prince George's counties said that in each case, the home had lost power during Hurricane Irene and generators were found in the garages.
Howard officials said 48-year-old Won Koo Sung died at his Ellicott City home. His wife, Young Sin Sung, and 17-year-old son, Jason, were taken to a Baltimore hospital. Maryland Emergency Management Agency Executive Director Richard Muth said the survivors are critically ill.
Sung’s 19-year-old daughter, who was staying with a friend, said the home lost power early Sunday morning. She talked to her mother Sunday afternoon and found her unconscious when she went to the home Monday night after failing to talk to her again.
In Prince George's, two women and two men were hospitalized Monday night for carbon monoxide exposure. Officials said an occupant of the Fort Washington home told a 911 dispatcher that a gas-powered generator was operating in an attached garage with the door closed.
Sung was Maryland’s second Irene-related death. Anne Bell, 85, died when a tree fell onto a house Queen Anne’s County.
Howard County officials offered these safety tips:
Generators, grills, camp stoves or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning devices should never be used inside a home, basement, garage or camper—or even outside near an open window.
Every home should have at least one working carbon monoxide detector. The detector’s batteries should be checked at least twice annually, at the same time smoke detector batteries are checked.