A woman has died and her husband has been hospitalized in “very critical condition” from possible accidental carbon-monoxide poisoning, North Las Vegas officials said Wednesday afternoon.
The North Las Vegas Fire Department said firefighters were alerted to the incident at 2:22 p.m. at a house at 1717 James St., near Owens Avenue and Pecos Road.
Authorities had not identified the victims, described as a couple in their 70s, as of Wednesday evening. County records show the homeowners are Jose and Margarita Martinez.
The husband was fighting for his life at University Medical Center.
North Las Vegas police Sgt. Tim Bedwell said the source of the carbon monoxide was unclear. He said the couple’s son had to break into the house and found them inside.
Capt. Cedric Williams of the North Las Vegas Fire Department said the house was tested and high levels of carbon monoxide were detected. An immediate reading at the house showed more than 400 parts per million in the body systems of the victims. The average levels in a house without gas stoves vary from 0.5 to 5 ppm. A healthy adult becomes toxic with a level higher than 50 ppm, the department said.
Bedwell said the cause might be related to faulty installation or repair of a gas-based appliance.
He said carbon-monoxide poisoning can be prevented by easily installed detectors, or by having a licensed professional install or fix gas-based appliances. Bedwell said symptoms of possible carbon-monoxide poisoning include headaches, nausea, vomiting and bright-red skin.
Contact reporter Antonio Planas at aplanas@review journal.com or 702-383-4638.