5 Louisiana Family Members Die of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After Surviving Hurricane Laura

Five Louisiana family members die of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator in their garage.They set it up because they lost electricity after Hurricane Laura hit the city. 

Early Sunday, the Category 4 hurricane brought a storm surge of 15 feet and 150 mph winds in Lake Charles. Rosalie Lewis, 81, decided to stay with her husband and three other relatives in the area. Due to the health conditions of Rosalie and John Charles Lewis Sr.'s, 84, they could not leave the place.

Unable to leave the place

When Rosalie's son, Lyle Lewis, 55, found his family the morning after the storm, he was numb. He explained that due to his parents' age, they did not want to take them to a different environment. He said that his mom suffered a couple of strokes while his dad was in the early stages of dementia. It is the reason why they did not want to evacuate. 

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Lyle also said that the weather had closed the garage door somewhere in the middle of the night. Because it was a three-car garage, they thought that it was ventilated enough. However, since the door got closed, the ventilation was not enough. 

In 2005, their home suffered little damage during Hurricane Rita, and now, it has again survived Laura. However, Rosalie, her daughter, Kim Evans, 56, son-in-law Chris Evans, 61, and her brother, Clyde Handy, 72, all died of gas leak. 

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Carbon monoxide filled the garage

According to authorities and relatives, the home garage got filled with carbon monoxide after the family placed a generator during the night. Lyle told The Daily Advertiser that the family left the garage door open for ventilation, but the winds likely blew it closed. It led the poisonous gas to seep into the home. 

Patrick Perry, a relative, told The Advocate that while the family made it through the storm, an accident had caused them to die. 

Sheletta Brundidge always remembers what her aunt Rosalie tells everyone. She said that her aunt would always say that happiness is a choice, and that no matter what happens in your life, you can choose to be happy. She was devastated to hear the news of death of her blood relatives. 

five louisiana family members, carbon monoxide poisoning, hurricane laura
(Photo : Instagram/torbaysweeps)

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John Charles had survived the poisoning and was in critical condition after people took him to the hospital. He was on life support on Wednesday, but on Thursday, his son, Lyle, told The Associated Press that his dad had died. 

The authorities reported that in Texas and Louisiana, 25 of the people that had died were caused by the storm, and almost half of them died of carbon monoxide poisoning due to unsafe generator operation. 

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