The Chicago Police Department has confirmed that responders found an unnamed man dead in an apartment after they responded to an alarm in a building on the 800 block of East 53rd Street on March 3 at 9:22 p.m.. They found a left-on stove in the unit across the hall.
Though detectives are still investigating, officials say the preliminary cause of the man's death is carbon monoxide-related. There are no other reported injuries.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that more than 400 Americans die every year from unintentional carbon monoxide poisoning not linked to fires; more than 20,000 visit emergency rooms, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.
Carbon monoxide poisoning causes flu-like symptoms such as headache, dizziness, weakness, upset stomach, vomiting, chest pain and confusion; the CDC notes that sleeping people can die before they have symptoms.
A resource published by Iowa State University reports that adverse health effects can be reduced by having a qualified specialist turn furnaces for combustion safety, not blocking air vent holes or covering those on the bottom of an oven with foil and not using a kitchen range to heat the home. Studies that show concentrations of the poisonous, odorous gas rise when gas stoves do not have range hoods.
Ranges should be serviced if flames are not burning blue, the burners or pilots produce soot or do not light properly or if carbon monoxide concentrations increase when using the stove.