LAKELAND, Fla. - A 7-year-old Polk County girl was found dead in her home from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, deputies said.
The generator was found Wednesday running inside the home on Dossey Road South in Lakeland, deputies said.
The generator was used to power the home after it lost power following Hurricane Irma.
"This is the first death our agency has worked related to Hurricane Irma. It's a tragedy when anyone dies, but when a child dies, it's a horrific tragedy. Please, please follow safety instructions that we have stressed over and over so no other tragedies such as this one occur, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said in a statement.
The girl’s mother, Shashunda Wilson, 41, called 911 just before 12 p.m. to say she felt dizzy and her daughter appeared to be dead, deputies said.
Deputies said the duplex and neighboring home had dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. No other injuries were reported.
There have been 17 reported injuries and five reported deaths linked to carbon monoxide poisoning in the last two days. All have involved generators that were left in homes or garages without proper ventilation.
Investigators remind people to leave generators outside and away from doors or windows so the fumes can’t leak into a home.
Carbon monoxide does not have a smell and can’t be seen.
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