Greenville, SC – An elderly married couple died over the weekend inside their Greenville home from carbon monoxide poisoning, authorities said.
Robert Pulliam Bell, 87, and Ruby L. Bell, 86, both of 9 Mountain Brook Trail, died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, said Parks Evans, Greenville County coroner.
The couple had lost power to their home during the winter storm and a family member helped them set up a generator inside their garage, said Russell Watson, Duncan Chapel Fire District chief.
The family member left the garage door open and wedged a ladder beneath the door so it wouldnt shut, Watson said. The family member also told the couple to leave the door open, Watson said.
We dont know how, we dont know if one of them shut the garage door or what happened, but the garage door got shut and the generator was still running inside the garage, Watson said.
The home likely filled with carbon monoxide and the man and woman perished, he said.
Their son discovered their bodies around lunchtime on Saturday and called 911, authorities said.
The coroner’s report lists the time of death as 8 p.m. Friday.
There were no signs of trauma or foul play, though the incident is still under investigation by the coroner’s office, Evans said.
Autopsies were scheduled Sunday afternoon, he said.
The fire department considered the incident accidental and is not investigating further, Watson said.
Watson warned others who use generators not to place them inside any sort of covered structure near a home.
Houses are not airtight and carbon monoxide can seep into the house from attached structures, he said.
The best spot to place a generator is outside in the open air, either on a deck or lawn, he said.