At least six people have died from carbon monoxide poisoning in the wake of a massive blizzard that pounded the Eastern portion of the U.S. The deaths have many fire departments, including some in the Washington, D.C. area, reminding residents to clear their home and car exhausts of snow. According to 4 NBC Washington, many of the deaths happened as the victims worked to clear snow from a vehicle.
In New Jersey, 23-year-old Sashalynn Rosa, of Passaic, and her 1-year-old son, Messiah Bonilla, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while sitting in a running car that had its tailpipe covered in snow. Rosa's 3-year-old daughter, Saniyah Bonilla, remains hospitalized in critical condition. The father of the children was just steps away shoveling snow from around the car.
Angel Ginel of New York died in a similar way Monday afternoon. Police say Ginel was found inside his running, plowed-in car in Brooklyn. His relatives believe he got inside the car to warm up Sunday, and the car got buried.
Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can be confused with shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, light headedness or headaches.
Fire officials are reminding residents that a car's exhaust pipe should be cleared before starting the vehicle and of the dangers of sitting inside the car to stay warm. NFPA'scommunity toolkit on carbon monoxide alarms provides materials public educators can use to conduct a community education campaign on the topic. In addition, the carbon monoxide safety tips sheet, customizable and available in English and Spanish, offers quick tips about safety.