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Carbon monoxide blamed in Texas man’s death

By Darren Meritz
The El Paso Times

EL PASO, Texas — A man died Friday afternoon in what fire investigators believe may be the first death of the season caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

About 12:30 p.m., family members called police for a welfare check on relatives who live at a home in the 5300 block of Doniphan, where the man and a woman, both 48, were discovered unconscious, officials said.

“At first they thought they were asleep,” Fire Department Lt. Mario Hernandez said. “They attempted to wake her up but were not successful, and they called 911.”

Paramedics were able to resuscitate the woman, who was taken to Providence Memorial Hospital. The man was found dead, Hernandez said.

Police, who are conducting a routine investigation because the death was unattended, said Friday that the woman remained hospitalized in guarded condition.

“Everything right now indicates that it was accidental,” police spokesman Javier Sambrano said. “There’s not any indication that anything else occurred.”

The death comes as fire officials and others have been warning El Pasoans about the dangers of carbon monoxide and how to prevent leaks and dangerous accidents.

During a two-day span in late November, firefighters received five calls about potential gas leaks in El Paso.

Texas Gas Service officials are investigating what might have caused a carbon monoxide leak, Sambrano said.

Illness and deaths due to carbon monoxide in recent years have been more common in Juárez.

In December 2006, an elderly couple were taken to Tho mason Hospital in serious condition due to symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning.

In January 2006, Socorro elementary- and middle-school coach Herman Lucero died at his propane-heated home due to what investigators believe was accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

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