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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
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    5,304

    Family of eight, including 7 children, killed in carbon monoxide accident in Maryland

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...-Maryland.html

    The kids between the ages of 6-16 and their father died.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Coventry
    Posts
    4,607
    Oh no. And to think of my annoyance and eye-rolling when my CO detectors do the low battery beep.

    I should appreciate them more.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    126
    My first thought was "don't let this be another Utah". But, it's no less tragic, even though it was an accident.

    Don't run generators in your house. Don't run generators in the garage. Please ...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,833
    Do power companies shut off power after 1 month of non payment?It must have been a few months unpaid.I thought most power companies have a cheritable plan that lets the public donate money to people who can not pay during winter months.Churches also will help.The father bought a generator,they are not cheap,I wonder if that money would have been enough to cover the bill.I could not imagine raising 7 kids on 1 income,bless him and his children.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Posts
    1,833
    There is new info out that the father had illegal hookup since Nov.2014,it was a stolen meter.The stolen meter was removed from the home a few days before deaths.The power co. had no info. on the home and had not been contacted by the renters or owners.The power was not off for non payment,he was getting free electricity or the home owner included the electricity in the rent.


    http://news.yahoo.com/utility-remove...195913163.html
    Last edited by cuffem; 04-07-2015 at 09:33 PM. Reason: add link

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4,351
    <snipped>
    PRINCESS ANNE, Md. (AP) — A divorced father and the seven children he was trying to raise on a kitchen worker’s salary were poisoned in their sleep by carbon monoxide only days after the power company discovered a stolen meter and cut off electricity to their rental home, police said Tuesday.

    Delmarva Power said it did not cut off the family’s electricity because they were behind on their bills, but for safety reasons after discovering the illegal connection March 25.

    Rodney Todd, 36, then bought a gas-powered generator and installed it in his kitchen to keep his two sons and five daughters warm...

    ...“I’m just numb. Like it’s a nightmare but it’s not,” the children’s mother, Tyisha Luneice Chambers, told The Associated Press on Tuesday. “If I had known he was without electricity, I would have helped.”

    http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-w...were-poisoned/


    <snipped>
    The father who was found dead with his seven kids in their southern Maryland home — due to carbon monoxide poisoning as the result of a running generator — never asked for electricity service to be connected to the home, a utility company said Tuesday.

    http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/...-never-n337341

    -----------------------------------------------------------

    This is so, so sad. It is very expensive to raise 7 children these days. I wonder if the dad was afraid to tell anyone he was having financial difficulties for fear his children would be taken away from him. It's evident from what I've read that he loved those children dearly and sounds like an exemplary father. But, I'm sure many people would have been happy to help. Even the mother said she would have helped. How heartbreaking for her.
    "Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk."
    - Henry David Thoreau

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4,334
    IIUC, chronology:
    ~Oct 2014, owner/landlord or exiting tenant requested elec service disconnect at house.
    ~Nov 2014 after family moved into house, Mr Todd did not request Delmarva connect service there.
    Power was illegally tapped/connected (by ?) to bypass co's billing system & provide house w 'free elec.'
    ~March 25, Delmarva discovered theft of services & disconnected elec to home.*
    After that, Mr Todd obtained gasoline-powered generator to provide electricity to home, ran it in kitchen,
    contrary to safety warning labels on generators and in user instruction guides.**
    April 5, Mr Todd & children were discovered dead in home.

    At any time after moving in, did Mr T did seek payment assistance from any of 3 programs listed in brochure below* -
    including one which helps customers avoid disconnection between Nov & March, per page 13 hardcopy or 15 pdf?
    IIRC, in past years he had sought payment assistance, so seems he was aware of some programs.
    Did he seek assistance from other programs not listed on Delmarva's brochure?
    Was there a working carbon monoxide alarm in the house? If so, did it not work?

    No matter how this evolved, sad, sad, sad, heartbreaking. RIP Todd family. Who could imagine a tragedy like this?
    Who could imagine trying to rear 7 children as a single parent?


    __________________________________________________ ________________________________
    * "...the power company discovered a stolen meter and cut off electricity to their rental home, police said Tuesday....."
    http://www.seattletimes.com/nation-w...were-poisoned/

    * Delmarva can disconnect service without prior notice for -
    -hazardous conditions found on the customer's property,
    -interfering or tampering w meters or co. equipment or for theft of services, per p. 14 of brochure below.
    ^This is why co disconnected service, not a disconnect for failure to pay,
    for which there are seasonal exceptions, including cold weather forecasts <32 degrees, per p 16.
    Delmarva is area elec co: http://www.delmarva.com/
    Brochures: http://www.delmarva.com/connect-with...-us/brochures/
    Brochure about customer rights: At Your Service: Maryland Customer Rights

    ** "Generators, ... or other gasoline, propane, natural gas, or charcoal-burning devices should never be used inside a home, basement, garage, or camper - or even outside near an open window.
    Every home should have at least one working carbon monoxide detector.
    The detector’s batteries should be checked at least twice annually, at the same time smoke detector batteries are checked." bbm sbm
    ^ from http://emergency.cdc.gov/disasters/cofacts.asp.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    669
    Quote Originally Posted by Indy Anna View Post
    <snipped>
    This is so, so sad. It is very expensive to raise 7 children these days. I wonder if the dad was afraid to tell anyone he was having financial difficulties for fear his children would be taken away from him. It's evident from what I've read that he loved those children dearly and sounds like an exemplary father. But, I'm sure many people would have been happy to help. Even the mother said she would have helped. How heartbreaking for her.
    was the mother paying child support? you cant call someone who makes the decision to father 7 children when he cant even afford electricity for himself exemplary. plus the sheer stupidity of running a generator indoors. if he'd survived, he'd die in prison.
    “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

    ― William Wilberforce

    "Be sure and make a good job of it!"

    -Harry Harbord Morant

    "All we ask is to be let alone."

    -Jefferson Davis

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Posts
    17,224
    Eight white hearses rolled into the University of Maryland Eastern Shore on Saturday morning, delivering 7-year-old Zhi'Heem Todd, his six siblings and their father, to one of the largest funeral services the Eastern Shore has known. The Todds were found dead in their Princess Anne home from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning April 6.

    http://www.11alive.com/story/news/na...gels/26100921/

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    St. Paul, Minnesota
    Posts
    214
    The landlord should have had a working carbon monoxide detector. It is required in almost all states. I don't know who was responsible for the electric bills, but since the dad bought a generator instead of calling the landlord or the utility company, I am presuming he was.
    Why wasn't the mother of the children paying child support?
    Finally, I haven't been THAT poor, but being poor is a full time job in and of itself. Rotating bills around, making sure rent is in one lump sum at the beginning of the month-even if it is more than half of your income, your kids can't go on field trips because you don't have $15 (I knew people this happened to), you have to decide between a gallon of milk and a gallon of gas, and choose the gas because you need to get to work...it is hard. I really think that unless someone has actually been poor, there is no need to judge.

    Also, it sounds like the mom is not responsible, so he had all the kids. Should he have made seven kids he couldn't afford? Probably not. But that doesn't mean the children did not have a right to exist. He made a stupid mistake out of desperation. I am guessing that had the landlord installed a carbon monoxide detector and they all lived, people would be helping him out with a go fund me, and people would be aware of the backbreaking poverty that exists here in the land of plenty.
    Last edited by StephanieH; 04-21-2015 at 05:04 PM. Reason: I didn't know go fund me was forbidden? LOL


  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    10,475
    This is a horrible tragedy.

    Here is what I think needs to change.

    I think there needs to be some kind of law that when electric companies turn off power or disconnect power during a 6 month cold weather span to any residence that some sort of mandatory effort needs to be made to ensure the people living in that home can have uninterrupted service even if they cannot afford it. At least for a certain period of time. Like maybe only X number of months with weekly red sticker warnings on the door or something like that.

    Whatever that means and not sure of how it could be implemented but this is just rifidulous. I have heard of too many stories like this where the electric is cutoff and then a fire or this type of tragedy happens next. Most of the time it is a fire it seems.

    More must be done to stop this tragedy. I dont have all the answers but I darn sure know that electric companies should not be able to just come and turn off power without doing more to help the people involved. Otherwise we are going to continue to have the next fire or carbon monoxide disaster like this.

    And I know the guy was stealing electricity but that doesnt matter. Things can be done to not have this happen.
    For example, the state taxes could subsidise the months that the red warning stickers are placed weekly on the front door that electric will be turned off for good on a certain date.

    I dont think this guy was given enough time to correct the situation. He thought of a quick and foolish remedy but if he been given time he may have found a way to pay the bills. He was not given any time. Power just disconnected. Not the right way to deal with it.

    All JMO.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Posts
    10,475
    And I too hate those darn beeping noises from my smoke deterctors and carbon monoxide deterctors too. LOL I almost ripped one out of the ceiling not too long ago. LOL

    They need to make those easier to change the batteries!!! My goodness. You have to be a rocket scientist to open the case. WTH?

    Why is it so hard to figure out how to open the darn case to those things? How about making them where there is a nice easy flip latch to get to the battery?

    The one I had to deal with you literally had to turn the case cockwise to open it. The complete opposite of how you would ordinarily open something. Usualy it is in an unscrewing motion but this one you had to go clockwise to unscrew the case housing. Unbelievable. I somehow got battery out and put new one in. LOL

    Oh, and there was all this writing all over the thing but nowhere was any writing explaining how to open it up to change the battery.
    Once you got the housing case off, then sure enough a very small writing where the battery compartment was. You needed a magnifying glass to read it.

    Its no wonder people dont change their batteries. They make them too difficult to do it.
    So how about passing some laws to help us out like this. Make a law to make the manufactures make it easy to first find the battery compartment and then make it easy to change the battery.
    Have the law be tested by random 5 year olds should be able to do it. That could be the litmus test. LOL

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Posts
    669
    Quote Originally Posted by Hatfield View Post
    And I too hate those darn beeping noises from my smoke deterctors and carbon monoxide deterctors too. LOL I almost ripped one out of the ceiling not too long ago. LOL

    They need to make those easier to change the batteries!!! My goodness. You have to be a rocket scientist to open the case. WTH?

    Why is it so hard to figure out how to open the darn case to those things? How about making them where there is a nice easy flip latch to get to the battery?

    The one I had to deal with you literally had to turn the case cockwise to open it. The complete opposite of how you would ordinarily open something. Usualy it is in an unscrewing motion but this one you had to go clockwise to unscrew the case housing. Unbelievable. I somehow got battery out and put new one in. LOL

    Oh, and there was all this writing all over the thing but nowhere was any writing explaining how to open it up to change the battery.
    Once you got the housing case off, then sure enough a very small writing where the battery compartment was. You needed a magnifying glass to read it.

    Its no wonder people dont change their batteries. They make them too difficult to do it.
    So how about passing some laws to help us out like this. Make a law to make the manufactures make it easy to first find the battery compartment and then make it easy to change the battery.
    Have the law be tested by random 5 year olds should be able to do it. That could be the litmus test. LOL
    or maybe a law that requires the detector manufacturers to come by & change the batteries.
    “You may choose to look the other way but you can never say again that you did not know.”

    ― William Wilberforce

    "Be sure and make a good job of it!"

    -Harry Harbord Morant

    "All we ask is to be let alone."

    -Jefferson Davis

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Posts
    4,334
    Some good thoughts in the post. My comments in green, w bbm.
    Quote Originally Posted by Hatfield View Post
    This is a horrible tragedy.
    Agreed, there are too many tragedies like this.

    More must be done to stop this tragedy. I dont have all the answers but I darn sure know that electric companies should not be able to just come and turn off power without doing more to help the people involved. Otherwise we are going to continue to have the next fire or carbon monoxide disaster like this.
    When detecting then removing an illegal connection, a utility does not necessarily 'know' someone is living there.
    Somebody could hook it up for a par-tay, to run a drug lab for a day or two, or use sporadically for illegal activity.
    After finding an illegal connection, is it reasonable to expect utility to go knock on doors of homes & apts,
    to see if someone lives there and would like to connect? How many times does utility need to visit? Over what period?
    Allowing amateur-installed connections to remain in place is a hazard to the neighborhood.

    And I know the guy was stealing electricity but that doesnt matter. Things can be done to not have this happen.
    For example, the state taxes could subsidise the months that the red warning stickers are placed weekly on the front door that electric will be turned off for good on a certain date.
    Not understanding this idea. Is it -
    every week, utility must send an employee to house w pending disconnect, to sticker door to notify of pending dis-con?
    So how far in advance of dis-con must utility start? How many weekly notices? Or idea something else?

    I dont think this guy was given enough time to correct the situation.
    He thought of a quick and foolish remedy but if he been given time he may have found a way to pay the bills. He was not given any time. Power just disconnected. Not the right way to deal with it. All JMO.

    Could Mr T's generator-remedy have had a different ending?
    Could Mr T have asked for a carbon monoxide detector at a fire station (or ?)?
    I wish there was an easy answer for this. Sad, sad, sad.



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