Saint Clair, PA – A borough man was found dead in his home Sunday from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Saint Clair police Patrolman Joseph Leskin said that police responded to 354 S. Second St. after receiving a call about 7:49 a.m. Sunday.
At the scene they found Charles Gately, 57, and his cat, dead on his bedroom floor.
“We had to break a door in,” Leskin said. “The screen door was locked.”
Police also found Gately’s girlfriend, Suzanne Walkusky, 54, who was still alive and removed her from the home.
Walkusky was the one who made the call.
She was taken to Schuylkill Medical Center-South Jackson Street, Pottsville, by Pottsville-Schuylkill Haven EMS and was reported to be in fair condition.
Leskin said that a pipe in Gately’s coal burner was completely blocked with about 10 inches of soot and ash and was sending fumes into the house via the stove.
He also said that Gately had just gotten coal and that there was smoke in the house, which Gately apparently thought was the normal process of starting a fire.
Since part of the screen door was open, Leskin said that police believe the draft coming into the home is how Walkusky was able to survive.
“The highest count we got was 248 ppm,” he said. “Anything over 30 your alarm goes off.”
He said that there was no carbon monoxide detector in the house, nor did there appear to be any smoke detectors.