2 found dead inside Durham home from carbon monoxide poisoning

DURHAM (WTVD) -- Investigators say a generator inside a rental home is to blame for the carbon monoxide poisoning deaths of two people, including a pregnant woman.

Police and fire crews responded to a call for help in the 500-block of Spruce Street late Wednesday morning.

A man living in the home said he found 27-year-old Ashley Brandon and 50-year-old Walter Melvin III unresponsive. Both were later pronounced dead.

The man who reported the incident was taken to the hospital for observation.

"They say he walked out the house," relative Kanita Wesley told ABC11."So he should be OK."

A crowd of family and friends gathered at the home that was wrapped in crime scene tape for more than two hours.

Grieving relatives said Brandon was expecting with her first child.

"She was excited," recalled Wesley. "She was a very kind, helpful person. She helped raise my kids when I had to work."

Durham fire officials say fireplaces, heating systems, generators, and grills can emit carbon monoxide if used improperly.

Power or heat generating appliances like generators or charcoal grills should never be used indoors, according to a spokesperson for the Durham Fire Department.

Carbon monoxide detectors are recommended for homes with any kind of heating system that uses fossil fuels like LP, natural gas, oil, or wood.

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