A man who was one of two persons who died Monday night of carbon monoxide poisoning in a gas-furnace accident was incorrectly identified in yesterday's editions of The Washington Post. He was Robert H. Hart.
Two elderly Washington residents died of carbon monoxide poisoning Monday night when fumes from a gas furnace backed up into the rooms of a town house at 1136 Sixth St. NW, D.C. police reported.
The deaths were the first cold weather-related casualties reported this heating season, police and gas company officials said.
The victims were identified as Kate V. Coleman, 66, of 4420 14th st. NW, who operated the town house as a boarding home, and Richard Hart, 69, a family friend, of 728 Hamilton St. NW.
Their bodies were found in the second-floor apartment of the three-story town house. A relative who became concerned when Coleman did not report to work found the bodies.
Coleman's husband, Charles, 79, who lives at the couple's 14th Street home, said his wife had called him early Monday night and said she was cold and would be turning on the gas hot-water heating system for the first time this fall.
Gas company officials said the furnace exhaust flue was blocked by deteriorated brick and mortar, and the fumes were forced back down the flue into the house. No other residents were in the home at the time.
Coleman said his wife, who inherited the Sixth Street town house only a few weeks ago when her mother died, was employed as an elevator operator at the General Accounting Office.
Friends said Hart, a part-time cabdriver, was a longtime friend of the family.
Assistant D.C. Medical Examiner Rak W. Kim said an autopsy showed that both victims had died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A gas company spokeswoman yesterday asked area residents to check their furnaces and chimneys for any blockage or signs of debris before using them.
The gas company will answer questions from customers who call 750-1000.