A 7-year-old boy and an 8-year-old girl are dead and their mother, Kathryn Gilliam, was transported to Duke University Hospital early Wednesday morning after apparent carbon monoxide poisoning in their Elkin home, according to Surry County emergency officials.
Surry County emergency services, Elkin Rescue Squad, Elkin Fire Department and Elkin Police Department responded to a house at 211 Elk Spur St. around 5:15 a.m. on Wednesday. The children and two animals were found dead in the front left bedroom of the home, according to John Shelton, Surry County EMS director.
Investigators believe a running generator in the house caused the carbon monoxide poisoning. The generator was found hooked up to the refrigerator in the kitchen, and is believed to have been turned on around 11 p.m. Tuesday.
The Gilliam family moved into the home Tuesday, which didn’t have normal power service. Two female friends who had helped the family move into the home returned to the house Wednesday morning around 5 a.m. to find Gilliam collapsed in the hall, the two children dead in their bedroom, and the generator running in the kitchen. The generator was almost out of fuel, according to Shelton.
“The two friends that had been helping [Gilliam] move, came in and found her in the hallway, they cut the generator off, pulled her from the residence, and when we arrived on scene we resuscitated her immediately,” Shelton said. “The children were brought outside and put in an EMS vehicle but they were found deceased.”
Shelton said an autopsy will not be necessary for the children because the cause of death is obvious.
Gilliam is in critical condition but is stable at Duke University Hospital.
“The information that we have is that the two youth are from our school district, and so we’re making our staff aware and we do have our school counselors at the elementary school and a couple of outside grief counselors in the community who are available for staff and students,” said Randy Bledsoe, Superintendent of Elkin City Schools.
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