Auburn, AL – A tragic death in east Alabama has first responders warning families about a silent killer that could be lurking in your home.

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris says Tuesday, inside an Auburn home and older lady and her dog, were found unresponsive. Their suspected cause of death is carbon monoxide poisoning.

“We had an elderly lady found unresponsive inside her home; all indications show she possibly and probably died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Apparently, she went into her house and closed the garage door, and for some reason, her car was left running. At some point, she became overcome by the carbon monoxide fumes and died, and so did her dog,” said Coroner Bill Harris.

Harris believes the deaths are a tragic and accidental result of the silent killer.

“It’s an odorless gas you go to sleep, and you never wake up,” Harris said.

Opelika Fire Inspector Bob Parsons is urging families to make sure they have carbon monoxide detectors inside their home, especially as the winter months are upon us.

“I often see people are struggling with the bills perhaps at times use uncommon heat sources such as a stove to warm their home, and that is dangerous,” said Parsons.

Along with running vehicles, deadly carbon monoxide fumes can come from a variety of sources like lawn equipment or generators with combustible engines and any open flame like a gas stove or dryer. During cold mornings it’s never a good idea to start your car to heat it inside a garage even with the door open.

“They need to watch out for symptoms such as nausea or dizziness mainly flue like symptoms, and if everyone in the home is overtaken at the same time, you could have a carbon monoxide leak taking place,” said Parsons.

If you start feeling sick, leave your home immediately, and call 911.