West Philadelphia, PA- Exposure to high levels of carbon monoxide from a natural gas leak killed a West Philadelphia man and sent his two children to the hospital. The Philadelphia Fire Department was called to a house in the 4900 block of Kershaw Street during the lunch hour.
A cousin came by to check on her relatives and found 43-year old Lenvel Lawrence passed out in a second floor bedroom. When medics arrived, they reported a heavy odor of natural gas. Lawrence was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead.
His two sons were also taken in for treatment; one remained in the hospital Thursday night. It doesn’t appear there was a carbon monoxide detector in the house that Lawrence moved into with his sons just this week. Investigators say the flue on the basement furnace clogged.
“What happens in Philadelphia is a lot of people don’t clean their burners, flues or chimneys and over time, they occlude with gunk [and] grease and they’re not breathing properly, said Lt. Michael Grant of the Philadelphia Fire Department.”If you have gas appliances, look at the pilot light. A clean pilot burns blue, if it’s yellow it needs service, and if it’s orange you may have carbon monoxide presence.”
The experts say more than 200 people die of carbon monoxide poisoning each year. See the links below to learn about this colorless, odorless killer and how to keep you and your loved ones safe.