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Carbon monoxide poisoning suspected in death of one teen, injury to another at home near Redwater, Texas

by Lori Dunn | January 26, 2022 at 10:00 p.m.

REDWATER, Texas -- One teen is dead and another is recovering in the hospital after being found unresponsive in a home near here. Officials suspect the cause of death and injury is carbon monoxide poisoning.

Micah Franco, 13, was a student at Redwater Middle School.

At 10:25 p.m. Tuesday, Bowie County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call regarding two unresponsive teens found at a home on Twilight Circle near Redwater, Texas. The home was without electricity and was being heated using a gasoline-powered electric generator indoors.

Texas Department of Public Safety troopers arrived on scene first and found a 16-year-old female unresponsive on the front porch. CPR was started as Trooper Green entered the home and located Micah -- also unresponsive -- on the living room floor. Bowie County Sheriff's Office Deputy Scott Lillis arrived and assisted with CPR. Attempts to resuscitate Micah were unsuccessful.

The 16-year-old was taken to Wadley Hospital and then transferred to Children's Hospital in Little Rock. She is expected to recover, BCSO Sheriff Jeff Neal said Wednesday.

Bowie County Sheriff's Office Investigator Kyle Holcomb responded to the scene, and an autopsy has been ordered to determine the cause of death. There are no indications of foul play and it is suspected that carbon monoxide poisoning is the cause of this tragedy.

Neal said electricity at the home had been turned off on Tuesday. He said it was not immediately known why the power had been turned off.

The dad of the two teens also lived at the residence. Neal said the dad went home to check on the children after he had been unable to reach them on the phone.

Micah was a seventh-grade student at Redwater Independent School District. The 16-year-old girl was also a student in the district and is Micha's sibling, according to the district.

The district released a letter to parents of its students Wednesday.

"We are shocked and saddened by this tragic event. We have made grief counselors and support persons available to anyone in our school community. Additionally, counselors and support people have been assigned to the junior high campus seventh-grade classrooms to assist the teachers and students."

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that kills hundred of people every year and makes thousands more very ill, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Many household items including gas and oil burning furnaces, portable generators, and charcoal grills can produce the poison gas.

Gas/diesel powered generators or any combustion engine should never be used indoors. Anyone who uses them for power or heat should use extreme caution.

Generators should only be used outside and more than 20 feet away from the home, doors or windows, according to the CDC.

Oil and gas furnaces should also be inspected every year. The CDC recommends installing battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide detectors near every sleeping area in a home.

(Redwater is about 13 miles west south west of Texarkana on U.S. Highway 67.)

Print Headline: Carbon monoxide poisoning suspected in death of one teen, injury to another at home near Redwater, Texas

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