Firefighters: Carbon Monoxide attributed to Newport News death

Posted at 4:15 PM, Oct 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-10-17 19:27:04-04

Update: Police have identified the deceased victim as Stephen Alexander Harris, 55, of Christian St.  The surviving victim is a 53-year-old woman.  Police say the two are cousins.

Newport News, Va. – Firefighters say that carbon monoxide may have caused a death and sent another to the hospital in a Newport News home Saturday afternoon.

When Emergency Medical Services responded to a possible stroke on Christian Street at 12:30 p.m. their carbon monoxide detector alerted them of high levels in the residence, according to Battalion Chief Robert Lee.  Crews quickly removed the patient and transported them to Mary Immaculate hospital.

Fire personnel re-entered the home to conduct a customary ventilation and to find the source of the high carbon monoxide levels when they discovered a deceased victim.

Chief Lee says that preliminary investigations reveal the high levels of carbon monoxide may have come from a propane tank with a heating element attached.

Investigators from the Newport News Fire Department’s Fire Marshal’s Office are currently on scene continuing the investigation.

No word yet on the condition of the patient transported to the hospital, nor has the victims identification been released.

Lee reminds citizens the life saving value of properly installing an operable smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector in your home. NNFD will install free smoke alarms for any Newport News homeowner. Please call the “Smoke Detector Hotline” at 926-8009 to arrange, or visit their web site at