POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – The Polk County Sheriff’s Office is conducting a death investigation on Tuesday regarding the death of a seven-year-old who apparently died as the result of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator being run inside a home.
The girl’s mother, Shashunda Wilson, 41, who lives at Dossey Road South in Lakeland, said she work up this morning and felt dizzy.
Her daughter, Terryn Wilson, who sleeps in her bed with her, appeared to be dead.
Polk County Fire Rescue responded and found Shashunda sitting outside.
She told responders the generator was running in the living room while she and her daughter were asleep in the bedroom.
They took her to Lakeland Regional Medical Center for her carbon monoxide poisoning symptoms.
PCFR opened all of the windows in the home due to the high levels of carbon monoxide and checked the levels before allowing deputies inside.
Once inside, deputies found the victim, dead in the bed she shared with her mother.
The residence is a duplex and there were very high and dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in the adjoining residence as well.
No other victims were affected. “This is the first death our agency has worked related to Hurricane Irma. It’s a tragedy when anyone dies, but when a child dies, it’s a horrific tragedy,” said Polk County Sherriff Grady Judd.
An autopsy will be conducted to determine the victim’s exact cause of death.
The following message was sent to residents via AlertPolk:
“Hello, this is Sheriff Grady Judd: this is an important public safety warning. We are conducting a death investigation of a 7 year-old Lakeland child who is believed to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. The child was in a home where a portable generator was running in the living room. All generators and gas grills should be operated outside in well-ventilated locations, away from all doors and windows. Do not operate generators or grills in a garage. If you start to feel sick, dizzy, or weak while using a generator or gas grille, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY. DO NOT DELAY. Then call 9-1-1. Together we can be safe.”