CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Fire Department is investigating a carbon monoxide emergency after they responded to a home on Pierpont Avenue, pronounced one man, 71-year-old Louis Stephenson, dead and transported three other people to University Hospitals.
The fire department responded to the 10000 block of Pierpont Avenue Thursday afternoon around 3:00.
Cleveland's Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo said one of Stephenson's sons was coming home from work around that time and saw that a car was still in the driveway. The son went inside the home to check on his family and found his father dead in the upstairs bedroom and his 59-year-old mother unconscious and incoherent.
The woman and two other adult sons that lived in the home were transported to University Hospitals in stable condition, according to Cleveland EMS.
Chief Calvillo said investigators believe the source of the carbon monoxide was from the propane heater inside the upstairs bedroom.
"When you have a propane heater within a room and a door closed and windows down, it doesn’t take too long for that carbon monoxide to build up and make a lethal situation," he said. "Do not have any propane heaters or generators in your house. Those are for outside and we are here to help and support if anyone needs information."
According to Calvillo, family members said the utilities were shut off Wednesday, and heat and electricity had been off at the home for a while.
"This family was just trying to provide some heat and the portable, propane heater up in the second floor caused this incident today," he said. "Our battalion chief has contacted the American Red Cross to facilitate a possible shelter or location for this family right now."
Calvillo said the fire department didn't find carbon monoxide detectors inside the home. He said if you all of a sudden feel dizzy, short of breath, nauseous, or confused and you don't know why: get help.
"It’s the silent killer. You’re not going to smell it but if you just start feeling ill, like the flu symptoms, get out of the house and call 911 and we will investigate."