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Two days lafter deadline utility cuts power -- CO kills woman

jeb Member Posts: 46
"John's NOTE: At least the utlity company waited two days after the 4/15 deadline to cut the power. I wonder if they warned the family about the dangers of running a generator in an unvented space. Hmmmm. "

Why should they have to warn a person not to run a generator in the basement. How would they even know someone would. Its sad the lady died but what about personal responsibilty. Its always someone else fault. THis situation sounds like thinning of the herd.


  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    Read this gem

    Carbon monoxide in home kills woman

    Family was using gas-powered generator after utility cut off heat

    Associated Press

    A 30-year-old woman whose family had its power cut off was found dead Thursday after a gasoline-powered generator filled her home with carbon monoxide gas, police said.

    "The generator was being run in the basement with apparently no ventilation," Milwaukee Police Department spokeswoman Anne E. Schwartz said. "The carbon monoxide was very high."

    The woman was found unresponsive at a kitchen table, and rescuers pronounced her dead at 2:15 a.m., according to investigator Daphne Moutry-Allen of the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner's Office.

    Preliminary autopsy results showed Lisa Buggs died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a statement from the office. Eileen Weller, the office's administrative manager, said Buggs lived with a sister, Ramona, and their parents, Lee and Barbara Buggs.

    Those three and two police officers were hospitalized for treatment of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, Capt. Darlene Jenkins said.

    We Energies spokeswoman Wendy Parks confirmed the utility had cut off electrical service to the family's home Wednesday. The company had discussed payment options with the family and how it could get help to pay its bill, she said.

    According to the medical examiner's report, an investigator noted a bill of more than $9,000 from We Energies to Lee Buggs, and someone had made a recent payment.

    Parks said she could not discuss specifics of the account.

    State regulators ban utilities from disconnecting people's primary heating source from Nov. 1 through April 15 each year. We Energies began cutting service April 17 for about 2,000 customers per week, Parks said.

    Although final figures were not yet available, Parks said heating bills had been expected to rise 19 percent during the recently completed heating season. She said the company had increased calls to its customers about how they could get assistance.

    Lt. Brian O'Connor of the Milwaukee Fire Department said people should never run gasoline-powered generators in their homes because of the dangers of the gasoline itself and the carbon monoxide produced through running the device.

    The medical examiner's report said the victim's mother called another daughter who lives elsewhere around 1:15 a.m. to report a carbon monoxide detector was going off.

    John's NOTE: At least the utlity company waited two days after the 4/15 deadline to cut the power. I wonder if they warned the family about the dangers of running a generator in an unvented space. Hmmmm.
  • ScottMP
    ScottMP Member Posts: 5,884
    Thats a little harsh Paul

    But your right. Sad story, but how far do you go to protect people from themselves. The big mean untily needs to be paid. They are not a non-profit.

    Sad story but .....

    So she had the money for a generator ?


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  • Brad White_63
    Brad White_63 Member Posts: 24
    I thought the same thing, Scott

    a little harsh maybe, but how accurate. I think Paul had the guts to say what some of us only think... And she did have a generator at some cost.
    Sad, but Darwin had some points.
  • Terry_14
    Terry_14 Member Posts: 209
    Changed forever

    Not one of the lives touched by this story will remain unchanged. Further the Blame Game is easy after the fact.

    I see priorities We are in the throughs of higher and higher gas prices and the "MAN" (Oil Companies) know we will make choices to drive, being a pay as you go the uproar is more with the suppliers than our responsible use of resources.

    Heat is a necessity we still have choices thermostat settings, type of heating unit proper cleaning and safty tests.

    Many of the customers i service have emergency gas gennerators and the are in the house. Living in the North east storms cause problems for many. I plan to offer a warning on my next call.

    Sad yes but sad for all from the utility worker who may have guilt feelings to the family who lost a loved one.

  • Ron Schroeder
    Ron Schroeder Member Posts: 998

    ... And she did have a generator at some cost

    Well I went 5 days one winter without electricity, I was able to borrow a generator for that period at no cost to me. I think it's a bit hastey to assume that she did not pay the bill and went out and bought/rented a generator. As far as buying fuel to run the generator, that is more doable at five dollars pop then to come up with an minimum payment on $9000 bill.

    Don't get me wromng I also had the same thoughts as Paul.
  • Tony_23
    Tony_23 Member Posts: 1,033
    $ 9000 ???

    She owed 9 grand ? For one season ?!? HS !!!! How does THAT happen ?

    Next question : If the utility is shutting off 2000 customers/WEEK for non-payment, how much of OUR bill covers that loss ?

    I agree, for someone to die is sad. However, she had money for the generator and $3/gal gasoline and who knows what else.

    She, or whoever set it up, could have just as easily set the generator outside and run an extension cord through a window.

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  • John R. Hall
    John R. Hall Member Posts: 2,246
    We can't cure ignorance

    But we can help those that need our help. We know little about this family so to even use "thinning of the herd" and the Darwin principle is a little too harsh.

    I'll give you an example. I went on a service call for a senior citizen who was given a free inspection during a special "heat the town" event. She lived alone with the only living family member being about 70 miles away. She was almost completely deaf and needed a special device on her phone and television set to alert her to the phone ringing. She had no idea if someone was at the door, which was unlocked and where anyone could come in at any hour of the day. Her only family member didn't care enough about her to ensure her safety or to arrange for someone to look in on her. Fortunately a young man did occasionally stop by to make sure she was okay and if she needed anything (groceries, etc.). The local meals on wheels brought her food every other day.

    The point is, this 99-year-old woman should not have been put in this position but she had no choice. If something happened to her, would that be a "thinning of the herd?" Think again about what you posted. There are people who really need help and can't make the choices you or I can make.
  • Mark Hunt
    Mark Hunt Member Posts: 4,909
    No one wins

    in stories like these.

    I just keep pounding the pulpit about CO. It doesn't care how old you are, how cute you are or how important you are. Dead is dead.

    The person that set the generator up for her must be in a serious state of depression right now. A big heart and generosity coupled with the smallest bit of ignorance can be deadly.

    Mark H

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  • Leo
    Leo Member Posts: 770
    It's sad

    It is very sad when someone dies but where does it end. If the utility is doing it's job they would have made or arranged for the customer to get (if they qualified) fuel assistance or what ever it is called there. That's good customer service, but and that is a big but you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Working for an oil company I don't know how many times I have primed a system that had run out due to non payment only to pass the fancy car, boat, etc on the way to the basement. Not to mention the house is much nicer than what I can afford. Or to be greeted at the door by the guy with the beer, hmmm always money for beer.

  • John Mills_5
    John Mills_5 Member Posts: 950

    We had a house fire here in Indy caused by a heater in a house where the gas had been off all winter. It killed a teen girl. The utility had sent notice after notice and also included info on ways to get the gas back on. It was big news at the time but faded away quickly.
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