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Authorities examine generator without gas in Maryland deaths of dad and children

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By Lisa Braxton

A father and his seven children–six years old to the teens–were found dead in their one-story home in Maryland this week. Relatives said the father had been trying to keep the family warm with a generator after the power was cut because of an outstanding bill.

According to WISH-TV, Lloyd Edwards told The Associated Press that his stepson, 36-year-old Rodney Todd, had bought the generator after the power was shut off to the home in Princess Anne, about 60 miles southeast of Annapolis on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

Authorities would not confirm any information about possible carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning, but Princess Anne Police Chief Scott Keller told The AP that there was no foul play and that a generator with no gasoline was found in the kitchen. He confirmed that the electricity to the home was turned off.

Todd, a single dad, was a utility worker at a nearby university. The cause of the deaths remains under investigation.

Members of the fire service, looking to launch an awareness campaign about the dangers of carbon monoxide can download NFPA’s “Keeping your Community Safe with Carbon Monoxide Alarms” toolkit. The CO Safety tips sheet, available in English and Spanish, explains the dangers of CO, installation and use of CO alarms and how to prevent CO poisoning.

In addition, the Generator Safety tips sheet points out the risks of using the device and information on proper use and storage of fuel.

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