Monoxide poisoning likely killed man
Generator running in closed garage; three others ill in home

Sean Smith
@PensacolaNewsJournal.com ADVERTISEMENT


Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning
With numerous residents using generators during the power outage after Hurricane Dennis, the Escambia County Health Department has issued instructions on avoiding exposure to highly dangerous carbon monoxide.

Carbon monoxide is an invisible, odorless gas and is highly poisonous.

Depending on the level of exposure, carbon monoxide may cause weakness, shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, loss of consciousness and, in severe cases, death.

The Health Department's instructions:

Never use a generator or gas-powered equipment, such as pressure washers or grills, indoors. Do not use them in garages, basements, crawl spaces or other enclosed or partially enclosed areas, even with ventilation.

Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide build-up in the home.

Always locate the unit outdoors on a dry surface, away from doors, windows, vents and air conditioning equipment that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

If you suspect you are experiencing any symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning, open doors and windows, turn off gas appliances and go outside.

In cases of severe carbon monoxide poisoning, call 911.

Poison Information Center at (800) 222-1222.

Escambia County Citizen Information Line: 471-6600.

Florida Emergency Information Line800) 342-3557.


A Pensacola man died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator running in a closed garage after Hurricane Dennis pushed ashore Sunday, the district medical examiner said Monday.

Guy Ford, 55, was found unconscious at about 11:55 p.m. Sunday in his home in the first block of Deluna Drive near Jackson Street, the Escambia County Sheriff's Office reported.

Deputies and emergency medical crews were unable to revive him, and he later was pronounced dead at Baptist Hospital.

Three others in the home also were taken to Baptist Hospital after they complained of vomiting and severe headaches. Their conditions were not available Monday.

Dr. Andi Minyard, the district medical examiner, said the exact cause of death is pending toxicology reports that could take several weeks. But she said a running generator found in a closed garage and the symptoms shown by the three unidentified victims are consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning.

Baptist Hospital reported that another 15 people were treated there and at Gulf Breeze Hospital for carbon monoxide-related ailments stemming from improper generator use on Sunday and Monday.

The Pensacola Fire Department reported that a middle-age couple who reside on Wynnehurst Street were transported to Sacred Heart Hospital on Monday morning with carbon monoxide poisoning from a gasoline-powered generator being operated inside their home. No further information was available.

Dr. John Lanza, director of Escambia County Health Department, cautioned that a generator never should be run in an enclosed room.

"Carbon monoxide is extremely dangerous," he said. "It has insidious effects and comes on slowly. If you're sleeping, there would be no symptoms, at all. It happens every storm."