Carbon monoxide kills 2-year-old Mother critically ill after furnace emits poisonous gas.

March 11, 1992|By Michael James | Michael James,Staff Writer

A 2-year-old girl died last night and her mother was critically ill as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty furnace in their East Baltimore home, authorities said.

The child's father, Kenneth Moyd, arrived at the rowhouse in the 1900 block of North Patterson Park Avenue at 6:40 p.m. and found both the toddler and her mother unconscious, said Agent Arlene K. Jenkins, a police spokeswoman.

Police identified the child as Tiera Monet Moyd, who was pronounced dead on arrival at Johns Hopkins Hospital. Her mother, Tracy Barnett, 21, was in serious but stable condition today at the Maryland Shock Trauma Center, a spokesman there said.

Ms. Barnett was first taken to Hopkins for treatment of carbon monoxide poisoning and was transferred to Shock Trauma late last night.

Agent Jenkins said no signs of foul play were found at the home, which the family had moved into as renters a week ago.

"The father came home and discovered the two of them seriously ill," she said. "All we can say right now is that they were suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning."

Police said the child was found lying on a mattress in an upstairs bedroom. Ms. Barnett, who was having seizures and difficulty breathing, was lying a few feet away on the floor, police said.

Police and Baltimore Gas and Electric Co. investigators were attempting to determine who turned on the furnace, which had been tagged as out of service by a company representative last week.

Arthur J. Slusark, a BG&E spokesman, said the air was heavily poisoned by carbon monoxide when company representatives arrived at the house last night.

The father reported to BG&E investigators that when he left for work yesterday morning, the furnace was turned off, Mr. Slusark said. It was not known who turned on the furnace or how long it was on, he said.

A BG&E service man visited the house March 3 at the request of the family, which wanted gas service turned on, Mr. Slusark said.

But the service man found that the furnace had several problems and he turned the gas service off, Mr. Slusark said. He also tagged the furnace with an "out of service" marker, he said.

Among the problems identified by the BG&E service man were debris and soot in a vent pipe connecting the furnace to the chimney, Mr. Slusark said.

He also said the inspector found rust on the pipe and an improper valve on the furnace. All of those factors would have caused the furnace to malfunction in the way it did, Mr. Slusark said.

It is the owner's responsibility to get someone to repair a furnace tagged out of service, not BG&E's, he said. "We will service a furnace as a regular contractor, but it is the responsibility of a landlord or a homeowner to effect the repair," he said.

Company officials said that someone had turned on the gas switch at the home and that the furnace showed signs that someone tampered with it to get it working.

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