By Abigail Curtis, BDN StaffPosted Dec. 24, 2013, at 1:58 p.m.
Last modified Dec. 24, 2013, at 2:15 p.m.
KNOX, Maine — A Waldo County man trying to refill his generator died Tuesday after being overcome by carbon monoxide fumes, three days after the start of a storm that has locked much of the state in a thick layer of ice and left well over 100,000 Mainers without power.
Timothy Woods, 50, of Knox had gone into his garage to put gas in his generator, which had been in operation since the early morning hours. About 15 minutes after Woods went into the closed room, his family members found his body, according to Maine State Police.
Woods’ death is the first suspected carbon monoxide death in Maine during the ice storm, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.
The tragedy underscored the need for Mainers to be careful as they try to stay warm. The National Weather Service and Maine Emergency Management Agency both warned that generators are one of the main hazards during outages. Portable generators should be operated outside at least 15 feet from doors and windows. Residents are warned not to use camp stoves or grills indoors and to keep a carbon monoxide detector, with batteries, in rooms where people sleep.
Signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, nausea, vomiting and dizziness. If you suspect you have carbon monoxide poisoning, get outside and call 911 immediately.