Generator Blamed For Two Deaths In Gulfport

A generator is believed to have been the cause of the deaths of two men in a Gulfport apartment complex Thursday afternoon. Another man was critically injured by what is believed to have been carbon monoxide poisoning. Law enforcement officials say this type of situation has been their biggest fear post-Hurricane Katrina.

Gulfport law enforcement was on the scene at 3333 12th Avenue Thursday afternoon around 2:30. It was after they received a call saying someone may be dead inside an upstairs apartment. Two men were found dead, another was critically injured.

"It appears that they were working in the apartment, and possibly, there is a generator inside of the apartment, and all indications that the generator had been running. And it appears carbon monoxide may have been the cause of death," said Gulfport Fire Chief Pat Sullivan.

The out-of-town contractors had been hired to renovate the complex. And with very few places to stay here in South Mississippi, they lived where they worked, perhaps using a generator for heat and electricity. Sullivan says running a generator inside a home is not as uncommon as you may think.

"This is a situation that we've seen a lot of. This is something that we fear post-storm, where people are working in closed environments and they have the generator, or they have gas fired products inside gas fired machinery inside an enclosed space and there's not ventilation and then the fumes get them."

In order to insure your safety as the temperature drops, Chief Sullivan offers a simple suggestion.

"First and foremost is do not put a generator inside an enclosed structure. That's the simplest thing to do. Keep it outside, and if you want to put it inside, then unplug it at the end of the day if you want to secure it because of the fear of losing it or theft or something like that. Then you put it inside and lock it inside."

The names of the victims have not yet been released. Officials are also investigating whether or not apartment managers had a building permit to even renovate the complex.