Couple killed by suspected carbon monoxide poisoning identified by Oakland County sheriff

Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected after a Rochester Hills couple was found dead Friday.

The daughter of Paul Louis Kamulski, 75, Frances Kamulski, 74, asked neighbors to check on her parents around 3 p.m. They were found unconscious in bed at their home in the 1100 block of E. Avon Road.

Neighbors began administering CPR and called 911. One of the neighbors told dispatchers she began to feel lightheaded, and she was instructed to open as many windows as she could because of possible carbon monoxide poisoning. Firefighters ventilated the house when they arrived. 

According to the Oakland County Sheriff's Office, carbon monoxide levels in the home were185 parts per million (ppm), more than twice the lethal reading of 85 ppm. Investigators found a carbon monoxide detector in the basement, but its batteries were removed and found nearby.

A technician from Consumers Energy ran a test on the furnace and determined it was the likely source of carbon monoxide. 

Symptoms of Carbon Monoxide poisoning are:

  • headaches
  • feeling nausea, dizziness, fainting
  • hard to breathe
  • chest pain
  • confusion
  • vomiting
  • loss of body control

"This is a horrific preventable tragedy to lose two people," Sheriff Michael Bouchard said. "They actually had a carbon monoxide detector in the home, but for some reason, it was not in place and the batteries were out of it. We always encourage people to check their smoke detectors and their carbon monoxide detectors each time we change the clocks for daylight savings. It’s a good idea to have more than one in your home, and you can get them that run on batteries or plug-in with battery backup. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends as they deal with this terrible loss."

Captain Ann Echols from the Rochester Hills Fire Department, is encouraging everyone to make sure they have carbon monoxide detectors in good working order inside their homes.

"We recommend that for the carbon monoxide you have at least one per level of the home: Typically somewhere near your sleeping area," she said. "Carbon monoxide is often called the silent killer because it’s colorless, odorless, and tasteless."

Improperly ventilated appliances and engines in tightly sealed or enclosed spaces may allow the gas to build up to dangerous levels.

You can find Carbon Monoxide detectors for as cheap as $8 a unit. Detroiters can pick them up for free at the public safety headquarters. There are a number of fire departments throughout southeast Michigan that also provide them to their residents free of charge.