Carbon monoxide kills 2 in Central Fresno home, investigators say

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A warning from investigators about a silent killer comes after two people are found dead inside their Central Fresno home.

Fire crews say lethal levels of carbon monoxide were found in the home when they responded on Wednesday. The levels were 10 times higher than they would have reached had there been a working CO detector in the home.

The male and female victims have not been identified. But neighbors are stunned by the tragedy. They say the people living there were just trying to improve their home and the neighborhood. "It seemed like the whole family was pitching in to, you know live the American dream, you know what I mean," said Jack Machado. "It's really sad."

Neighbors say the home was a rundown drug house in the past. "This house was in really bad shape," Machado said. "I thought it was going to be condemned about a year ago."

A man working on the home discovered the victims and called police. When officers arrived they smelled the gas and immediately called the fire department to help.

The victims were confirmed dead but their bodies were not removed until hours later when the dangerous gas was cleared out.

"Carbon monoxide is odorless, colorless, tasteless," said Fresno firefighter Pete Martinez. "That's why Fresno Fire recommends having a carbon monoxide detector. Had these people had a CO detector, or a functioning one, they could have been alerted to the amount of gas that was in here."

It's still not clear what was leaking the deadly fumes into the home. PG&E crews responded to cut all gas flowing to the house. Homicide detectives ruled out foul play.

Estimates say nearly 500 people die of this type of poisoning each year. Here in California it is required by law that each single family home has a carbon monoxide detector. They're relatively inexpensive, ranging from $20 to $30.

Copyright © 2019 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.