Miami, FL – BY Kevin Deutsch, The Miami Herald
When Daniel McMillan and his girlfriend Veronica Scott went to bed Friday night, they considered themselves lucky. Hurricane Katrina had left them unscathed, other than putting out power in their Davie home.
But within a few hours, the couple would be added to the list of lives lost to the hurricane.
McMillan, 63, and Scott, 43, apparently died of carbon monoxide poisoning after McMillan left a generator on inside the home they lived in in the 4300 block of Southwest 56th Avenue. They became the eighth and ninth people to lose their lives to Hurricane Katrina.
Meanwhile in Miami-Dade, a mother, father and their 20-month-old twins, a boy and a girl, passed out in their Pinecrest home Saturday afternoon after an outdoor generator was left running near an open window, according to WFOR-CBS 4.
A neighbor found the family and notified authorities. Their conditions were not available late Saturday.
In Davie, McMillan’s sister, Florence Miller, found the couple dead in bed Saturday afternoon. Miller owns the house.
McMillan and Scott, who started dating about a month ago, lived in the garage. Before they went to sleep, around 9 or 10 p.m. Friday, police think McMillan turned on the generator, which he had brought home Friday morning and placed in a utility room near the garage.
The home, in Davie’s Potter Park neighborhood, had been without power since Thursday.
Friends and family were shocked that McMillan, a former construction worker, did not realize running a generator indoors can be deadly.
”She’s another person dead because of the hurricane,” said Marilyn Scott, Veronica’s sister. “They shouldn’t have been running that thing in the house.’
”My guess is the generator filled the room [with carbon monoxide] and it asphyxiated them,” said Davie Police Lt. Bill Bamford.
”They just went to sleep. That’s why they call carbon monoxide the silent killer,” the lieutenant added.
About 4 a.m. Saturday morning, the generator turned off for some reason, and another of McMillan’s nephews ran into the garage to alert him. He yelled McMillan’s name, but got no response. The nephew left the garage, and someone turned the generator back on.
About 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Florence Miller walked into here garage and realized her brother and Scott were dead.