HURRICANE IRENE

Won Koo Sung dies from carbon monoxide poisoning, wife, son critical

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An Ellicott City man is dead and his wife and teenage son are in critical condition in what authorities believe is a case of carbon monoxide poisoning, and investigators say it could have been due to a generator running inside.

Investigators found an activated generator with an empty gas tank in the garage of the Howard County home. (Photo: Kris Van Cleave/ABC7)

Howard County Police say Won Koo Sung, 48, was pronounced dead by fire and rescue personnel at his home in the 2700 block of Old Saint John's Lane late Monday night.

First responders were called to the scene after Sung's daughter discovered her mother unconscious after she could not reach her family throughout the day.

“Our neighbor has passed away, and we are very sad to hear that,” said neighbor Debbie Nesbitt. “What a loss that is, the effects of the hurricane just continue on, and you don't realize how simple thing like a carbon monoxide detector, how important it becomes."

Sung's wife, 47-year-old Young Sin, and his son, Jason Sung, 17, were transported to an area shock trauma center in critical condition.

The daughter had been staying with a friend after their house lost power Sunday morning during Hurricane Irene. During an investigation, fire personnel reported a high reading on their carbon monoxide detector, and investigators found a generator switched on with an empty gas tank inside the garage.

A carbon monoxide alarm inside the house had dead batteries.

Police are reminding people that generators, gas grills, stoves and other gas-powered devices should never be used inside.

Neighbor Alex Godzilebsky keeps his generator outside the garage and even called an electrician to make sure it's powering his house as safely as possible.

“By no means should we have another tragedy like this or another loss of life, move the generators outside, get proper ventilation,” he said.

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