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Man Dies of Suspected Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

He and a roommate were using a charcoal grill to heat their room, firefighters reported.

A 21-year-old man who had used a charcoal barbecue grill to heat his bedroom died in his sleep Wednesday night, the victim of an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, the Watsonville Police Department reported.

Medics were called to the Jeanette Way home around 10:15 p.m. because the man wasn't breathing. He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the police.

The man shared the bedroom—a detached room in the rear of the house—with another man, also 21. He survived and was taken to a local hospital to be treated for carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said.

A cold snap on the Central Coast has dropped overnight lows into the 30s for more than a week. Police reported that the two men had purchased a small charcoal-burning barbecue grill and were using it to heat their room.

Officers advised against using any heating source in a home that is not designed for that specfic purpose. Charcoal barbecues, propane heaters, un-vented gas heaters or gasoline powered machinery such as generators should never be used indoors.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, invisible gas that can cause death within minutes.

A year ago, a man and woman were hospitalized for carbon monoxide poisoning in Watsonville. They were exposed to the gas when a wall heater in their apartment leaked. Sixteen other people who lived in the converted Victorian home on Marchant Street, were temporarily left homeless by the gas leak.

A 36-year-old woman and her two dogs died of carbon monoxide poisoning in a remote cabin in the Santa Cruz Mountains, above Corralitos, in January 2011. Sheriff's deputies found a propane heater in the room where the bodies were discovered.

As of July 1, 2011, California law requires owners of single-family homes with attached garages or fossil fuel sources for heating to install carbon monoxide alarms in the home.

More information on carbon monoxide can be found online at http://www.fire.ca.gov/communications/communications_firesafety_carbonmonoxide.php.

Scootel McDoogel January 17, 2013 at 06:17 PM
Darwin was right.
Julia Faria Burnett January 18, 2013 at 04:06 PM
He wasn't thinking straight he just wanted to be warm. No need for the rude comments. I knew him, he was a good guy, condolences to his family and friends.
why? January 18, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Some people have no heart
Carmen Alfaro January 18, 2013 at 09:28 PM
At 21 he was very young and did not know the dangers ,it is truly a tragedy ,my heart goes out to his family,so sad he should have lived a longer life.
Dardie January 19, 2013 at 05:57 PM
This is sad. Can't believe people need to make rude comments about something like this. For many families central heating is a luxury.
Sick of the lowlife scum bangers January 20, 2013 at 12:13 AM
If they are so dumb that they can't afford the basics of life perhaps the whole Darwin thing should take effect as it did in this case. Every year on TV, radio and newspapers people are warned about doing this type of thing. Is it rude to say he was a dumba$$, well if the truth hurts.....
Julia Faria Burnett January 21, 2013 at 03:32 AM
How does it make someone dumb if they can't afford proper heating?
Melissa January 22, 2013 at 07:24 PM
Julia, The people that are saying he was dumb...are complete idiots themselves, and have nothing better to do than to make fun of other people and their misfortunes. This is a horrible tragedy, and my thoughts are with his family and friends.
Katy January 22, 2013 at 08:30 PM
You should be praying for his family not insulting the poor guy! How many of you did irresponsible, dangerous things in college? He was halfway through his junior year at sac state, obviously he wasn't stupid, it was a mistake. Rude comments should stop!

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