OXON HILL, Md. (WUSA) -- Five people have died in a carbon monoxide poisoning incident in Prince George's County, officials said.
The five victims have been identified as, Oscar Chavez, 57, Nelson Enrique Landaverde Alas, 44, Sonia Maribel Leiva, 54, all of Oxon Hill. Also, Nora N. Leiva, 57, of Chicago and Gomez Segovia Francisco Javier 33, of Fairfax, Va. were identified as victims in the incident.
The horrible discovery happened at around 10:45 a.m. at the 700 block of Shelby Drive, in Oxon Hill, Md., police said.
"Firefighters entered the house and removed the two unconscious occupants to the back yard where paramedics started their assessments. Firefighters searched the 1-story single family home and quickly discovered three additional unconscious victims. Additional EMS resources were called to the scene, however, after medical consultation, paramedics pronounced the five occupants deceased," Mark Brady, Prince George's County Fire spokesman said.
A broken exhaust pipe in a furnace allowed the carbon monoxide to escape into the home, officials said.
"The furnace was believed to be operating overnight with colder temperatures in the region. Neighbors reported last seeing the occupants at around 5:00 pm Monday," Brady said.
Brady then broke down the science of the tragedy.
"Firefighters using their gas meters discovered over 550 parts per million (ppm) of CO in the house. A normal healthy atmosphere would contain anywhere from 0 to 5 ppm. Anything over 5 ppm can affect a persons health based on the amount of time you are exposed to the toxic gas. A high reading of 550 ppm would cause someone to feel the effects almost immediately and eventually cause fatal injuries within an hour or two of exposure," Brady said.
Prince George's County officials urge everyone in the area to get furnaces and any other gas appliances inspected often, to avoid such tragedies.
"The deceased include a husband, wife, her sister and two boarders," Brady said.