Furnace malfunction leaves three dead in Coalport

Local News

CLEARFIELD COUNTY, Pa (WTAJ) — Three people in Coalport were found dead of carbon monoxide poisoning.

State police identified the victims as 67-year-old Robert McClellan, 57-year-old Brenda McClellan, and 68-year-old Ronald Jasper.

Glendale Volunteer Fire Department, assistant chief, Hugh Yeckley said after neighbors came to check on the three victims they saw smoke in the home, and that’s when the fire department was called.

When the Glendale Volunteer Fire Department arrived at the scene they found the three people dead and the apartment on the main street filled with smoke and carbon monoxide.

“Carbon monoxide levels were over 800 parts per million which is very lethal,” assistant chief Yeckley said.

Firefighters called the state police and Clearfield County Coroner to continue the investigation.

“It was a hard coal furnace that had a hopper feed in it and the fire backed up into the hopper and the hopper that was containing all the coal actually did catch fire and that’s what filled the place full of smoke,” assistant chief Yeckley said.

It is believed the three middle-aged victims died in their sleep in the early morning hours.

There were no smoke detectors or carbon monoxide detectors in the home.

“We can’t stress enough if they did have those we could have possibly saved the lived of three people,” assistant chief Yeckley said.

And this time of year firefighters see an increase in cases like this one.

“Especially since it gets real cold people are gonna want more heat firing up the furnaces and again proper make sure you have your furnaces checked proper preventive maintenance of your furnace,” assistant chief Yeckley said.

The fire department stresses the importance of having working smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors in your home to avoid tragedies like this.

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