Elderly Pair Dies as Home Reaches Over 1,000 Degrees

(LibertySons.org) – Every year, approximately 100 people die from issues related to their heating systems. These deaths spike during the winter months as Americans try to warm their homes. Two of those deaths recently occurred in South Carolina.

On January 6, the Spartanburg Police Department (SPD) was called to a house around 6 p.m. to do a welfare check. EMS and police officers were able to get inside the house. Once the first responders gained entry, they found two people dead.

According to police, the victims were identified as 82-year-old Glennwood Fowler and 84-year-old Joan Littlejohn. WSPA reported the police report stated the temperature in the home was over 120 degrees. Firefighters found a furnace in the basement that was extremely hot.

Spartanburg Asst. Fire Chief Brad Hall said, “Temperatures reached upwards of 800 to 1,000 degrees.”

The victims’ family members told police that both hot water heater and heater were both out in the house, and it “was getting too cold.” When the couple noticed the pilot light was out on the hot water heater, they reportedly started messing with it, moved a wire, and then the light came back on.

Rusty Clevenger, the Spartanburg County coroner, said he’s testing the couple to find out if they had carbon monoxide in the victims’ bodies. He explained that carbon monoxide is always something officials consider when people die in their homes. The coroner hired a professional to inspect the couple’s furnace but said it could be several weeks before he learned how the couple died.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warn Americans to remain vigilant in the winter. Carbon monoxide is odorless and colorless, making it a silent killer. CO detectors are recommended in homes with furnaces or other gas appliances. Experts also advise people to have a professional check their appliances every year to make sure they are safe.

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