Dallas County medical examiner looking into whether 17 deaths caused by winter storm
The Dallas County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday that it is investigating whether 17 deaths are linked to the winter storm. The agency said it could take two to three months until the causes of death are determined. The medical examiner’s office did not provide any details about those deaths. All the deaths occurred in Dallas County. At least three Dallas County men are suspected of dying last week of carbon monoxide poisoning, police in Garland and Dallas said. The first wave of the storm moved through North Texas late Feb. 14 into early Feb. 15, dropping several inches of snow across the region and plunging temperatures into the single digits. Temperatures remained below freezing for days as people across Dallas-Fort Worth and the rest of the state dealt with widespread power outages, burst pipes, boil-water notices and other fallout from the winter weather. Another storm system blanketed North Texas with an additional inch or so of snow midweek before temperatures finally climbed above freezing on Friday. Statewide, the weather was blamed for about 40 deaths, The Associated Press reported. It was unclear how many of those deaths were in the Dallas area. Dallas police said Tuesday that officers found a man dead in his home in the Love Field area last week who may have died from carbon monoxide poisoning. Officers responded to a carbon monoxide detector alarm about 11 a.m. Feb. 14 at 4618 Cedar Springs Road, near Lemmon Avenue and the Dallas North Tollway, and found 34-year old Lorenzo Charles Washington III inside. There was an extremely high carbon monoxide reading when authorities arrived, police said. Last Friday, Garland police found two men dead inside an apartment , likely from carbon monoxide poisoning. The men were identified as 41-year-old Arnulfo Escalante Lopez and 28-year-old Jose Anguiano Torres, Garland police said. Officers discovered a gas-powered generator inside, near where the men were found, police said. The generator was turned on and connected to extension cords, but it seemed to be out of gas, police said. The Dallas County medical examiner’s office is working to determine the cause of death for all three men, police in Dallas and Garland said. Jason Evans, a Dallas Fire-Rescue spokesman, said firefighters responded to 45 welfare check-type calls related to the cold weather from Feb. 12 through Friday. Crews transported 20 people to the hospital, he said.