Entire Family Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning After Hurricane Ida Takes Out Power

A family of three has died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Louisiana due to the use of a poorly ventilated emergency generator they set up after their power went out during Hurricane Ida.

Ida made landfall in the U.S. at Port Fourchon in Louisiana at around noon CT (1:00 p.m. ET) on Sunday with powerful 150 mph winds, causing more than 1 million people to be without power in the region.

In response to the lack of power amid the remnants of the storm still circulating in the area, residents in Louisiana have used emergency generators to provide electricity to their homes and businesses, which are fueled by diesel, gasoline or natural gas.

On Thursday, Jefferson Parish Coroner Gerry Cvitanovich said that a family of three died from carbon monoxide poisoning after they set up a generator outside of their house when they were left without power.

Cvitanovich identified the victims as Demetrice Johnson, 54, Dasjonay Curly, 23, and Craig Curly, 17, and confirmed that the generator was new, with its box still inside of the house.

Speaking to NOLA.com on Thursday evening, Jefferson Parish Council member Byron Lee paid tribute to Demetrice Johnson saying: "She was one of the most wonderful persons that you would want to meet," and adding: "She glowed like the sun shine. Absolutely wonderful person."

Jefferson Parish President Cynthia Lee Sheng mentioned the deaths at the beginning of her briefing about Storm Ida on Thursday evening, telling reporters that "the dangers after the storm as just as serious as during the storm," before confirming the three fatalities were caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.

According to NBC affiliate WDSU6, the Jefferson Parish Fire Department said that it was getting around five calls about carbon monoxide poisoning in the area every hour, while Sheng confirmed on Thursday that fire crews had to respond to several houses due to the calls.

Although the deaths of the family of three have been the only ones reported from carbon monoxide poisoning in Jefferson Parish, Nola.com found that one man was found dead after using an improperly ventilated generator in New Orleans on Monday, while at least 21 have been hospitalized in the city due to the poisoning.

The storm has caused devastation across the U.S., as a bridge in Lucedale, Mississippi collapsed earlier in the week resulting in the death of two people, and several states have been flooded as Ida made its way north on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Ida, which has been downgraded to a tropical depression, continued to cause devastation as it made its way north this week, as at least 45 people have been confirmed dead due to the effects of the storm in New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania, according to BBC News.

The fatalities included a man, 22, and woman, 45, who were found dead in the basement of their home in Jamaica, Queens, on Wednesday evening after being trapped during the flooding as Storm Ida hit New York City.

Newsweek has contacted Jefferson Parish Council for comment.

Hurricane Ida downed power lines
Downed utility poles cross Highway 1 in the wake of Hurricane Ida September 1, 2021 near Larose, Louisiana. A family of three has died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Louisiana due to the use of a poorly ventilated emergency generator they used after their power went out during Hurricane Ida. Win McNamee/Getty Images