The aftermath of last week's winter storm continues to take its toll on East Texas.  Sadly, on Saturday, three people died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator at a home in the Melrose community.


According to a release from the Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office (NCSO), deputies were dispatched to the residence located on County Road 4081 on Saturday evening around 4:30 pm. Deputies entered the residence and found three people who were deceased. The Melrose VFD assisted in ventilating the residence to make it safe for first responders to enter.

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Investigators with NCSO and the Texas Rangers arrived at the scene and conducted an investigation into the deaths.  An investigation revealed that the victims had no power to the residence and had been operating a gas portable generator on the front porch.  Law enforcement observed that the gas generator was in the corner of the porch and the exhaust pipe from the generator was very close to the residence. An investigation revealed that the exhaust pipe from the generator had melted a hole in the siding of the residence that allowed carbon monoxide from the generator to enter into the home.

The victims have been identified as Deborah Wright, 63, James Harkness Jr., 60, both from Nacogdoches, Richard Woodard, 42, from Mt. Enterprise.

This investigation is ongoing and an autopsy has been ordered by the Justice of the Peace Precinct 3, Judge Goerner.


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