NBC Washington / Derrick Ward
Two brothers and one of their close friends were found dead in a Prince George's County home. Police believe a gas-powered generator may be to blame for what appears to be carbon monoxide poisoning.
Fumes from a basement generator may be to blame for the deaths of three people in a house in Hyattsville, Md.
A woman called 911 at about 9:05 a.m. to report her boyfriend and two other men unconscious, Prince George's County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady said. When paramedics arrived at the house in the 5600 block of 38th Avenue, they determined 21-year-old Elon Jerome Jones, 20-year-old Edward K. Gonzales and 17-year-old Henry Gonzales had died.
A teenage girl was taken to an area hospital after being exposed.
A gasoline-powered generator was running in the basement, and authorities suspect carbon monoxide from the generator caused the deaths. The air in the home contained many times the lethal level of carbon monoxide, according to the fire department.
"It suffocates you from the inside out," Brady said.
The generator was running an air conditioning unit and some small appliances since there was no power at the home, Hyattsville police said.
The woman who reported the incident told police she was there to drop her child off for a visit with the father.
Generators and other sources of carbon monoxide should never be run inside the home, Brady said. He also advised getting CO detectors in addition to smoke detectors.