Last week two people died of carbon monoxide in Fresno, Calif., part of a surge of such poisoning cases during the cool weather in the valley, according to KFSN-TV.

Andre Benoit and Michal McClosky were carbon monoxide fatalities after they used a generator inside a warehouse, according to the TV station. Another woman was taken to Community Regional Medical Center (CRMC) in critical condition after being exposed to the deadly fumes.

Fresno has seen an upswing in carbon monoxide poisonings, Dr. William Dominic, head of CRMC’s Leon S. Burn Center, told KFSN. That center has treated 13 people for carbon monoxide poisoning since November, a jump up from the typical four patients it usually treats each year, according to KFSN.

Dominic pointed out that the less affluent are sometimes more vulnerable to carbon monoxide poisoning because of their inadequate homes or apartments. They may have poor or no heat, and therefore turn to an open fire or a barbeque grill inside to keep warm.

Sources of heat like a grill emit carbon monoxide, which essentially prevents human tissue from getting oxygen. And in a residence without ventilation, that carbon monoxide can reach lethal levels.

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