Generator misuse ends in man's death


A 54-year-old man was found dead inside his Acres Avenue residence in Sumter County after he inhaled carbon monoxide produced by a generator that was running inside his home.

Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker said William McBride was pronounced dead at 6:52 a.m. on Tuesday.

McBride's death is the only weather-related death reported in Sumter County regarding Hurricane Irma. One is too many, he said.

Baker said McBride was found by his two sons. Appliances were plugged into the generator, and one window inside the mobile home was opened, but first responders said the smell of the carbon monoxide was extremely strong, Baker said.

You cannot run generators in an enclosed space, said Baker, former director of Sumter County Emergency Management.

Unfortunately, some people do not have covered areas outside to protect his or her generator from the rain, and bringing the generator inside is dangerous even if windows are open, he said.

Also, do not put a generator close to windows outside because the exhaust can blow inside the residence, he said.

Baker urges residents to read instructions before operating emergency equipment and to pay attention to safety details given during emergency broadcasts.