An elderly man who died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at a home in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood early Thursday morning has been identified by the medical examiner’s office as 78-year-old Even Lammers.
Lammers, a San Francisco resident, was found in the downstairs unit at 301 Moultrie St. after firefighters responded to a report of a carbon monoxide alarm going off in the upper unit shortly before 4:30 a.m., according to fire department spokesman Lt. Jonathan Baxter.
Firefighters arrived and found four people and low levels of carbon monoxide in the upper unit, then noticed there was a lower unit and knocked on the door there after hearing a television on inside, Baxter said.
After no one responded, firefighters forced entry and found an elderly woman unconscious inside. She was taken to Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, which has a hyperbaric chamber specifically meant for carbon monoxide cases, according to Baxter.
Crews continued to search the lower unit and found an elderly man, later identified as Lammers, also unconscious. Life-saving measures were unsuccessful and he was pronounced dead at the scene, Baxter said.
An elderly resident from the upper unit also ended up hospitalized after not feeling well, according to Baxter.
PG&E crews responded to examine appliances for a possible source of the carbon monoxide leak. Baxter said the most likely source is a water heater on the lower level.
Both units had carbon monoxide detectors that were working and sounded alarms, he said.
Fire officials encourage residents who hear a carbon monoxide detector alarm to immediately evacuate their home and then call 911.
Baxter said the fact that the residents in the upper unit called authorities right away might have ended up saving the life of the elderly woman in the lower unit.
Anyone with concerns about whether an appliance is safe from carbon monoxide poisoning or whether a carbon monoxide detector is working properly can call PG&E at (800) 743-5000 for free inspections.