Three people were found dead in a home at 931 Benning Drive early this morning, according to the Muscogee County coroner.
Buddy Bryan said officials were called to the scene around 1:37 a.m. Jose Alfredo Perez, 23, his 2-year-old daughter Emily Perez and Edilberto Moreno, 27, were found dead in the home.
Bryan said the cause of death is asphyxia by carbon monoxide poisoning.
“They were running a gas generator inside the house,” he said.
Bryan said a woman was also transported to the hospital in critical condition. Her status is unknown at this time.
Jacqueline Davis lived next door to the family, who she described as quiet and friendly people that moved into the Benning Drive home about one year ago.
“We would just sit on the porch and speak to each other,” she said. “I couldn’t believe that it happened.”
Columbus Fire Marshal Ricky Shores advised the public to keep some safety tips in mind when using generators.
“The biggest tip is not to use a fuel-powered generator inside a home, especially without proper ventilation,” Shores said. “Make sure that when you have a gas-powered appliance in your home, such as a hot-water heater or stove, that it’s maintained properly and only worked on by a licensed technician.”
Those with gas appliances in the home should also have properly working devices to detect carbon monoxide, a gas produced any time people burn fuel in vehicles, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges or furnaces.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, carbon monoxide poisoning leads to flu-like symptoms, such as a headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
“It’s a colorless, orderless gas that can take your life,” the fire marshal said.