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landlord helpA Toledo, Ohio landlord has been indicted by a grand jury for reckless homicide following the deaths of four tenants at his rental property.
Investigators report that the occupants, a mother and three children, died from carbon monoxide fumes emitted from a generator that the landlord loaned them in order to heat the home.

It appears all of the victims died in their sleep on or near the living room couch.  The portable generator had been operating nearby in the kitchen.  Police have not reported whether it was the victim or the landlord who placed the generator in that room or if the landlord showed the tenants how to use it.

In order to prove the criminal case against the landlord, prosecutors will need to show that he disregarded a known risk and displayed indifference to the consequences.

The landlord has issued a statement that he was trying to do the family a favor by allowing them to live at the property, which did not have active utility service.  He brought the generator over so the family could plug in a space heater.

Initial reports indicate that there were no carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

In January, four members of an Oakhurst, California family died from carbon monoxide poisoning, also caused by a gas-generator generator used to power a space heater.

In December of last year, a St. Clair, Missouri family died from carbon monoxide poisoning soon after moving into a new home.  Family members had complained of nausea in the days leading up to their deaths, but attributed the symptoms to the flu.  There were no carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

The majority of states now require landlords to maintain carbon monoxide detectors in rental properties, although Ohio does not appear to have passed such a law on the state level at this time.

About 400 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning each year, according to the CDC.

For more see Disaster Prevention: Now, It’s the Law!

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  • Gary Carlson

    Wow! In this day and age, there are still people who run a gas generator inside their dwelling? Amazing.
    In this case, the general combustion fumes and the noise must have been such that it’s a wonder they could stand it from the moment the machine began running.

  • Joseph

    The landlord was a fool to allow the so called tenants to live in the dwelling without the electricity being hook up. That was a lawsuit waiting to happen.

  • Have to agree with Gary, when i first heard this story i thought the noise alone would be enough to make you want to set it out side. Think about it, be like running a lawn mower in your kitchen ! Not sure why they did not set outside unless worried about some one stealling it, it’s not avery good area. When the lanld lord found the family he removed the generator, not going to go well in court.

  • Holly

    There are some people still didn’t know generator is not safety to use inside the home. Factory should had big warring label on all “Generator” Sometimes, we are trying to help someone, ending up we got ourself in trouble. “

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