Girl Dies From Generator Fumes After Hurricane

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A 7-year-old girl died from what appeared to be carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator.

Florida mom Shasunda Wilson, 41, woke up feeling dizzy before coming to a horrible realization -- her daughter, 7-year-old Terryn, who sleeps in bed with her, was dead, according to WFLA.

The family had been running a generator in the living room during Hurricane Irma.

Emergency responders arrived and took Shasunda to a hospital to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning. Terryn was found dead in the bed.

Polk County Fire Rescue opened all of the windows in the home because of the high concentration of carbon monoxide inside.

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The adjoining home in the duplex was also found to have dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide.

"This is the first death our agency has worked related to Hurricane Irma," said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. "It's a tragedy when anyone dies, but when a child dies, it's a horrific tragedy."

An autopsy is set to determine the exact cause of death for the girl.

A notice went out on alert service AlertPolk warning residents about the dangers of running a generator inside.

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"Hello, this is Sheriff Grady Judd: this is an important public safety warning," the message read. "We are conducting a death investigation of a seven-year-old Lakeland child who is believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The child was in a home where a portable generator was running in the living room."

"All generators and gas grills should be operated outside in well-ventilated locations, away from all doors and windows," the warning advised. "Do not operate generators or grills in a garage. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator or gas grille, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT DELAY. Then call 9-1-1. Together we can be safe."

Electric Generators Direct offers similar advice, saying to never run a generator indoors, because they emit exhaust containing carbon monoxide. Because generators are usually used during power outages and storms, people tend to place them in their garage or underneath their porch, which can lead to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide entering the home.

Another family also died from carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator after Hurricane Irma, People reports.

Two teens and their mother died, while others had to be hospitalized after the family ran their portable gas generator in the garage.

Thirteen-year-old Jan Lebron Diaz, 16-year-old Kiara Lebron Diaz, and their mother, 34-year-old Desiree Diaz Molina all reportedly died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Louis Lebron Diaz, Molina's 12-year-old son, was hospitalized, along with three family friends.

"You know these people," said neighbor Maria Tuzzeo. "You know them."

"They're from your neighborhood," she said. "You know how bad it is. You're brought up with the kids. They go swimming at the pool. It's just so sad."

Sources: WFLA, Electric Generators Direct, People / Featured Image: Corgi Homeplan/Flickr / Embedded Photos: Matthew Bellemare/Flickr, PublicDomainPictures.net

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