Woman dies, toddler and man hospitalized after family powers home with generator - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Woman dies, toddler and man hospitalized after family powers home with generator

A woman is dead and a toddler and a man are hospitalized after the family used a generator to power their home.

Jewish Hospital has treated more than 20 people for carbon monoxide poisoning since the storms.  The hospital says many were using generators inside their homes and businesses.

Allen Smith is like so many others who decided Thursday to buy a generator: "I've been out of electric since Sunday 11:30 or so -- still without electric."

That has had dozens of people on the hunt for a generator.  Shen Home Depot in the Stonybrook area got a shipment of 30, people were quickly buying them and wheeling them out of the store.

Home Depot Manager Howard Stull says generators come with a lot of safety guidelines.  He says even in times of desperation you have to follow the safety rules and use the proper extension cords.

And Sgt. Salvador Melendez, a Louis Fire Dept. spokesman, says to turn generators off at night, that anything in the refrigerator will survive the night.

Fire officials say the most important tip is that gas-powered generators must be run outside at least 15 feet away from the house.

But in Newburg, police say a family was running a generator inside their home.  The coroner's office says 22-year-old Kristen Estes most likely died from carbon monoxide.  Two family members, including a two-year-old, are also hospitalized.

Louisville Fire and Rescue says generators should also be far away from any doors, windows, and vent openings.

Symptoms for carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, dizziness, and nausea.  But after her neighbor died, Judy Bennett says she now knows just how serious carbon monoxide can be, saying she was shocked, and that it hurt her so badly she cried.

The man is at Jewish Hospital in stable condition.  No word on how the toddler is doing at Kosair Children's Hospital.

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