East Stroudsburg, PA – An East Stroudsburg man died in his home from what authorities suspect to be carbon monoxide poisoning on Wednesday.
Pennsylvania State Police, along with Bushkill EMS, Suburban EMS and the Marshalls Creek Volunteer Fire Company were called to a home in Middle Smithfield Township at 10:54 p.m. on July 7 for a report of an unresponsive 21-year-old male.
First responders found what was reported to be “a deadly level of carbon monoxide” at the scene upon arrival, along with noxious fumes. The victim, whose name is being withheld until next of kin is contacted, was found deceased in a bedroom area.
A gas generator, which was in the on position and appeared to have been run until it was out of fuel, was found inside the residence. Authorities stated the generator appeared to have been utilized due to power outages related to storms in the region, which left thousands of PPL an Met-Ed customers in Monroe County without electricity.
The Monroe County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene and the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office was notified.
Coroner Tom Yanac stated that the cause of death appears to be carbon monoxide poisoning, though this cannot be confirmed until the autopsy which is scheduled for Saturday.
Trooper Justin M. Leri with the Criminal Investigation Unit is conducting the investigation.
According to the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response, while a generator may be necessary in times of extended power outages, incorrect usage can lead electrocution, fires and carbon monoxide poisoning.
Generators should only be used in an emergency situation, and not as a primary source of power. The devices need to be placed outdoors, far away from any structures, and at least 15 feet away from open windows to prevent exhaust from getting into the structure.
“Running a generator inside any enclosed or partially enclosed structure can lead to dangerous and often fatal levels of carbon monoxide,” the Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security and Emergency Response states.
“You want to make sure you’re running it away from the structure, away from any vents, dryer vents, open windows things like that,” Hoffman said.
Signs of carbon monoxide, which is an odorless, tasteless gas, include dizziness, sickness or weakness, nausea, confusion, blurred vision and loss of consciousness. In the event of possible exposure to carbon monoxide, get fresh air, and if severe symptoms occur, seek medical help immediately.