Anne Arundel authorities name man poisoned by carbon monoxide

Huge levels of toxic, odorless gas found in trailer home

March 23, 2011|By Nick Madigan, The Baltimore Sun

Authorities in Anne Arundel County on Wednesday released the name of a man who died in his trailer home, apparently poisoned by carbon monoxide.

Murry W. Paddy, 64, was found Tuesday morning by a neighbor in his dwelling on the 5300 block of Sands Road in Lothian, according to a police statement. Firefighters who were dispatched to the scene declared the home unsafe "due to extremely high levels of carbon monoxide" and later pronounced the man dead.

Police said a portable electric heater had been plugged into a generator inside the home. There were no obvious signs of trauma and no indication of foul play, although a cause and manner of death will be determined by the medical examiner's office in Baltimore.

Capt. James Rostek, a spokesman for the county fire department, said firefighters wearing protective masks entered the dwelling shortly after 8:30 a.m. and discovered carbon monoxide levels of about 800 parts per million. Readings above 9 ppm are generally considered hazardous.

Firefighters found two cats in the dwelling, also dead.

Rostek said firefighters traced the source of the gas, which is odorless and colorless, to the generator. Normally, he said, such equipment is left outside, particularly because of the possibility of fatal emissions. The generator was not switched on when the firefighters arrived, the spokesman said, "but it had to have been at some time."

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