Mansfield, OH – By Ron Simon, News Journal -The death of a Hollywood Lane man Friday night from carbon monoxide from a gasoline-powered generator in his garage surprised and bothered neighbors.
“It’s just terrible,” Patricia Schwartz of 735 Hollywood Lane said. “It’s tragic. He was so young.”
Dean Shopbell, 35, of 749 Hollywood Lane was found dead in his split-level home late Friday night by friends who came to check on him, Richland County Coroner Dr. Stewart Ryckman said.
“We believe it was either carbon-monoxide poisoning or aspiration caused by the fumes that killed him sometime between 6 and 11:30 p.m.,” Ryckman said.
“Friends had been trying to reach him all day and finally went there. They found the garage door opened and the door into the house unlocked. They found him in a room next to the garage.”
According to a police report, Shopbell had been using a generator to heat his home.
Ryckman said Shopbell left the garage door only partially open and an unidentified neighbor opened the garage door all the way. But it was apparently too late.
Rick Rader, a next-door neighbor, said when firefighters used a fan Saturday morning to clear Shopbell’s house, “It just reeked.”
Steve Wadley, 46, of 740 Hollywood Lane remembered hearing the generator in Shopbell’s garage.
Schwartz said Shopbell was a quiet neighbor. She said it seemed odd not to see smoke coming from his chimney Friday. He had a wood burner in the basement and used it a lot, she said.
Firefighters at the Mifflin Township Department said carbon monoxide calls are usually due to people operating generators in their garages or basements.
“We’ve answered about four or five calls like that a day since Wednesday,” firefighter Jack Baker said.