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3 men found dead in Union duplex, likely from carbon monoxide poisoning

Officers detected chemical odor and firefighters measured extremely high levels of deadly gas.
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

UNION, Mo. — Three men and a dog were found dead Tuesday afternoon in Union, Missouri, due to suspected carbon monoxide poisoning, first responders said.

Union police, firefighters and EMS responding to a wellness check at a duplex on the 500 block of South Washington Avenue Tuesday afternoon found three men and a dog unconscious. It was later determined they had all died, most likely from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Firefighters called to the location measured extremely high levels of the deadly gas. Officers said they had detected a chemical odor coming from the garage.

It was reported about 4 p.m. that a man who lived in one of the units had not been heard from since Monday. Upon entry, officers found the man and his dog lifeless. 

Two other men were found in the adjoining unit after police evacuated and a firefighter and an officer reentered with breathing apparatus. 

The victims were identified as Edward G. Huddleston, 74; Verlyn R. Branson, 85; and John E. Branson, 58. All three lived in the duplex. 

No foul play is suspected. The investigation is ongoing, and the victims were released to the medical examiner.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless and toxic gas that claims over 430 lives a year. It’s a byproduct of burning carbon fuel like the natural gas in your stove and the gasoline in your car. Even small doses of carbon monoxide can cause permanent damage or death, according to safewise.com.

Carbon monoxide is deadly because it binds with your red blood cells and starves your body of oxygen after passing into your lungs.

The early symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, shortness of breath and fatigue.

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