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Carbon Monoxide Believed to Have Killed City Man

January 15th, 2014 by WCBC Radio

On Tuesday, 01/14/2014, at approximately 4:00 PM, members of the Cumberland Police and the Cumberland Fire Department responded to a private residence on Boone Street in Cumberland for a medical emergency. Upon arrival they discovered two individuals unconscious inside a residence.

Entry was made into the residence. The victims were checked for vital signs. One was pronounced dead at the scene, and the other was transported to the hospital as emergency personnel performed CPR.

The Cumberland Fire Department tested the interior of the building and found it contained dangerously high levels of carbon monoxide. Emergency personnel were concerned that the carbon monoxide may have seeped through the walls into the adjoining attached duplex. The resident would not respond to repeated knocks at the door, so emergency personnel made forced entry into that residence as well. They located the resident sleeping in an upstairs bedroom. Emergency personnel determined that the carbon monoxide levels in that residence were within the normal range, and that the resident was fine. Emergency personnel returned to the other residence and ventilated it to lower the carbon monoxide to acceptable levels and make it safe.

Investigators with the Allegany County Combined Criminal Investigation Unit (C3I) responded to assist in the investigation. Investigation revealed that 63 year old Chester Edward Porter, Jr., of Cumberland, and 67 year old Ronald Eugene Mowery, of Ellerslie, were inside the unoccupied residence painting. They were utilizing a kerosene powered heater and a gasoline powered generator while doing so. There were no windows or doors left open to ventilate the interior. Investigators suspect that both were overcome by the carbon monoxide before losing consciousness. No foul play is suspected.

Porter was pronounced dead at the scene. His body has been transported to the State Medical Examiner’s Office in Baltimore for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. Mowery was transported to the Western Maryland Regional Medical Center for further treatment.

The investigation is continuing by the Cumberland Police, the Cumberland Fire Department, and C3I. Investigators with the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation were also responding to assist in the investigation.

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