The Tennessean A husband and wife who were expecting their first child died from carbon monoxide poisoning while polishing the floor of a business with a propane-powered buffer, Memphis police say.
They were identified Monday as Bobby Joe Branch, 45, and Blanche “Cookie” Thomas Branch, 32.
Officers patrolling a Cordova business park around 2 a.m. Sunday found the man slumped in a corner on the floor of La Petite Academy day-care center.
The woman was found in a chair behind the front desk of the center.
The victims were contractors polishing the floor at the time they were overcome.
The buffer was still running when police got inside the building, said homicide Lt. Joseph Scott.
“We are absolutely devastated for this family. It is an awful, awful tragedy,” said La Petite Academy spokesman Karen Craven.
Memphis firefighters tested where the victims were found and discovered carbon monoxide levels three times higher than what is considered safe, Scott said.