Mt. Morris Township, MI – Mt. Morris Township police are looking into the possibility that a man found dead Wednesday, Nov. 20, was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator he was using following last weekend’s strong storms.
Police are waiting for autopsy results to confirm a cause of death, said Mt. Morris Township Police Lt. Matt Lasky.
“We are looking into the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. There was a strong presence of exhaust in the home that we think came form a generator,” Lasky said. “We don’t expect foul play.”
The man was in his mid-50’s.
Thousands of Genesee County residents went without power after strong storms traveled through the county Sunday.
If confirmed, the man would be the third death in the state linked to the storm.
A man was killed Sunday when a tree fell on his vehicle in Jackson County’s Rives Township.
The storm was blamed for the death of a Perry man who was electrocuted by power lines after going outside to check on damage.
Carbon monoxide is something all residents need to be aware of, said Mark Valacak, Genesee County Health Department health officer.
“Its a colorless, odorless gas. … It’s 200 times more likely to bond with hemoglobin when both oxygen and carbon monoxide are present. It basically overtakes the oxygen when you breath it in and causes the person to die,” Valacak said. “I just cant stress enough making sure you have a detector in your home. Be careful if youre using any gas powered engine. It shouldn’t be in an attached garage or enclosed space.”
Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, body aches, dizziness and sleepiness, Valacak said. It often mimics flu-like symptoms.
A major problem is that people will feel sleepy and try and lay down, which will make matters worse, he said. Problems typically happen around this time, because people turn on their furnaces and some people think they are just getting the flu.
If residents use generators, they need to be outside and away from air intake. Putting them in the basement or garages is dangerous, Valacak said.
If a carbon monoxide detector goes off, it’s important to call Consumers to figure out the cause, he said.
Carbon monoxide detectors are fairly inexpensive and can be found at most stores, Valacak said.