Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Is Blamed for the Deaths of 3 in Va.'s Tidewater Area

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 14, 2009

An accident that cut off electricity to a house in Virginia's Tidewater area apparently started a series of events that ended in three deaths from carbon monoxide poisoning, according to an official account.

Two men were found dead May 27 in a house where electricity came from a generator, said Capt. Paul Hoyle, a Portsmouth, Va., fire department spokesman. A woman who was found died a week later.

About nine people a year died of accidental, non-fire-related carbon monoxide poisoning in Virginia over a recent six-year period.

Hoyle said a truck had brought down the electrical line, so a generator was being used. At one point, he said, it was brought inside.

On May 27, nobody answered the door for a contractor. Hearing the generator, the contractor called 911. Authorities found a carbon monoxide level "way over" the danger threshold, Hoyle said.

The dead were identified as William J. Lashley, 86, Isaac L Bowser, 47, and Brenda Lashley, 43.

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