Furnace fumes are blamed in deaths of three men

Bodies were discovered in Northeast rowhouse

December 01, 2003|By Richard Irwin | Richard Irwin,SUN STAFF

The three men whose bodies were found in a Northeast Baltimore rowhouse Saturday afternoon apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning -- the result of a faulty furnace that filled the home with the odorless gas, city police said last night.

Names of the men, and their relationship, were not divulged.

Police said homicide detectives and inspectors from Baltimore Gas & Electric returned to the house in the 4700 block of Elison Ave. yesterday and after a detailed inspection determined the deaths were caused by a faulty basement furnace.

Police said two men were found under the covers of beds in separate rooms on the second floor and had died in their sleep. The third man was found lying dead at the top of the stairway leading to the first floor, as though he was attempting to flee the house but was overcome, police said.

The bodies were discovered about 1:50 p.m. Saturday by officers responding to a "check-the-welfare call" from a neighbor who hadn't seen one of the men for several days and noticed mail accumulating in the mailbox, police said.

Tests that day for evidence of carbon monoxide proved negative, but a more thorough testing and examination of the furnace showed what killed the men, police said. The problem with the furnace was not revealed.

Directories show the home was occupied by Ronald A. Green, 46. Neighbors reported last seeing the man two or three days before Thanksgiving.

Police said it appeared the men had been dead for several days.

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