WESTERVILLE — The Genoa Township Police Department reports a man died at his home Tuesday, likely from carbon monoxide poisoning. His wife was also seriously ill, police said.
Edward Yu, 78, of 5908 Bretton Place in Westerville, was discovered deceased upon arrival by Genoa Township Fire/EMS and the PD around 4 p.m. His wife was transported to St. Ann’s Hospital in Westerville.
“Fire personnel detected a low level of carbon monoxide inside the residence,” said Police Chief Steve Gammill in a Facebook post. “Based on preliminary investigation, we believe a Mercedes SUV, equipped with a push-start button, was accidentally left running in the garage with the door closed. There were no carbon monoxide detectors located in the residence.”
“We again see the tragic results of not having working carbon monoxide detectors in your house,” said Genoa Township Fire Chief Joe Ponzi. “We urge everyone to make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors and smoke alarms in your house. If you have any questions about how to obtain, install, or maintain them, please contact the fire department at 614-568-2040.”
In May 2019, a family of four perished due to carbon monoxide poisoning in Genoa Township.
“Carbon monoxide (CO), an odorless, colorless gas, which can cause sudden illness and death, is produced any time a fossil fuel is burned,” states the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website. “CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.”
The CDC states CO poisoning symptoms are often described as flu-like. The most common symptoms are chest pain, confusion, dizziness, headache, upset stomach, vomiting and weakness. The CDC notes more than 400 Americans die each year from CO poisoning, more than 4,000 are hospitalized, and more than 20,000 have to visit the emergency room.
“Everyone is at risk for CO poisoning,” the CDC states. “Infants, the elderly, people with chronic heart disease, anemia, or breathing problems are more likely to get sick from CO.”
In addition to having a CO detector, the CDC also recommends people “never run (their) car or truck inside a garage that is attached to a house even with the garage door open. Always open the door to a detached garage to let in fresh air when you run a car or truck inside.”
For more tips on how to prevent CO poisoning, visit www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.