San Antonio, TX – A man and his two children were found dead Monday evening of possible carbon monoxide poisoning in a West Side home.
A woman who lives at the house stopped by and found two girls dead in a bedroom at 5:27 p.m. in the 100 block of Evandale Street, said San Antonio Police Department spokeswoman Sgt. Michelle Ramos.
The woman ran outside and called police, who found the father dead in a separate room.
The girls were between 9 and 11 years old and the father was in his mid-50s, Ramos said.
There were no signs of physical trauma to any of the victims.
The woman who lives at the house a friend of the family told police that power to the residence had been cut off since Friday. She had last spoken to the family Sunday afternoon, Ramos said.
A gasoline-powered generator was being used inside the home, investigators said.
The generator was on, but it was no longer working, Ramos said.
Firefighters said there was a high level of carbon monoxide inside the house. Officers opened the windows shortly after they arrived.
Neighbor David Jones, 57, stood outside next to the house, trying to come to terms with the family’s death.
He had seen the father outside Sunday evening. He said the father worked as a handyman, sometimes fixing vehicles.
He always waves at us, Jones said. He’s helped us out a couple of times with carrying stuff.
His two daughters also played with the neighboring kids, Jones recalled.
Jones said he did not know his neighbor’s power was out.
We would’ve helped him no problem, Jones said. We didn’t find out until they (the police) showed up.
Portable generators produce carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that kills without warning, according to information posted at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. Hundreds of people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, while thousands more are sickened, the CDC reports.
The CDC urges the public to never use a generator inside a house or a garage even while the doors and windows are open. Generators should only be used outside and should be placed more than 20 feet away from a house or building, the CDC noted.
The house is owned by Bexar Rental Properties LP, which bought the residence in January 2014, Bexar County Appraisal District records show.
The three-bedroom, one-bathroom house was built in 1963 and is relatively small, 1,023 square feet. It has an appraised value of $85,740, appraisal district records show.
Bexar Rental Properties LP owns a total of 67 properties under its name in the appraisal district records. Most of those houses had modest appraisal values, many of them below $100,000.