Three people died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator at a home in Nacogdoches County, Sheriff Jason Bridges said.
Names and ages of the victims has not been released Sunday morning, and more information is expected to be available Monday.
The people died after exhaust from a generator on a porch burned a hole in exterior siding and began leaking carbon monoxide into the home, Bridges said. He called the home a “horrific, gruesome scene.”
“There’s no doubt that it was due to carbon monoxide. All evidence points to that,” Bridges said.
Some remote parts of the county could remain without power for up to three weeks, electric providers have said, leading to a spike in the use of gas and diesel powered generators.
“If you’re running a generator at the house, I cannot encourage you enough to make sure it’s safe. Do not run generators inside your home. Do not run generators inside your garage. Do not run generators up close to your house,” Bridges said.
Generators should be at least 15 feet from a building in order to reduce the likelihood of carbon monoxide poisonings.
More than a dozen carbon monoxide deaths have been reported across the state since a winter storm dumped several inches of snow and ice, leaving millions of Texans without power and water.
Harris County alone has reported more than 580 carbon monoxide poisoning cases this week, including two deaths, The Houston Chronicle reports.