Two people are dead, 10 were hospitalized. That’s all after a deadly carbon monoxide leak in Pikesville.
Alex DeMetrick reports why police and fire officials are not investigating what caused the leak.
Police were the first to arrive Sunday morning to a house on Colby Road in Pikesville after a 911 call reported bodies.
When they went inside they “were quickly overcome by some type of unknown substance,” said Chief Michael Robinson, Baltimore County Fire.
“At first I thought maybe it was a gas leak because it couldn’t have been a fire because I didn’t smell anything,” said Lauren Stanley, neighbor.
The fact that it is odorless is what makes carbon monoxide gas so deadly. It killed two men.
There were “carbon monoxide levels close to 400 parts per million,” Robinson said. “The threshold we’re normally concerned with is 10 parts per million.”
Three police officers and seven others from the home were rushed from the home to Shock Trauma.
“They said my aunt was the closest then to die,” said Noe Romero, family member of one of the victims. “Now she’s safe, and everyone else is.”
Those with the most severe symptoms were treated in Shock Trauma’s hyperbaric chamber.
“We put them in the chamber, which essentially supersaturated their body with oxygen,” said Dr. Bob Rosenthal, chief of hyperbaric medicine. “It allows the carbon monoxide to be washed out preventing later damage to the brain.”
The men killed are identified by family members as Enael Lemus and Nelvin Saguero, both from Guatemala. They worked construction and lived with the family that employed them.
The men who died were rooming in the basement. That’s where their bodies were found.
“His hand was on the doorknob in the basement,” said Romero. “He was trying to get out, but wasn’t able to do that.”
It’s not known what appliance leaked the carbon monoxide. The fire department says once BGE turned off the gas, their official role ended.
“It is the private property owner’s responsiblity in the situation like this to hire professionals to determine what the source of the problem is,” said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County fire spokesperson.
Until then, no one lives in the home.
It is not clear who owns the house. There were no carbon monoxide detectors. Meanwhile, relatives are trying to raise money to send the bodies home to Guatemala for burial.