Five people were overcome by noxious fumes inside a home in Western Kansas in what police say was a “tragic accident”.
According to the Dodge City Police Department, on Monday morning at approximately 4:07 officers were dispatched to a home to a report of dead people inside.
Upon arrival officers were able to see two subjects through the window slumped over just inside the living room entrance area of the house. They made entry noticing that the two subjects appeared to be breathing very shallow. As they opened the door they immediately smelled the familiar odor of thick vehicle exhaust in the air.
As the officers grabbed up both subjects they saw a third. They got the two of them outside to the front yard. They returned inside to get the third and while inside they saw the door between the house and the garage was open and saw another subject in a vehicle inside the closed garage.
Dodge City Fire Department arrived on scene as they came out with the third subject. Officers informed fire personnel who then entered equipped with a breathing apparatus. They opened the overhead garage door for PD officers to enter and recover the man from the vehicle. DCFD then searched the remaining rooms and found a fifth subject in a bedroom and carried him out of the house.
Ford County Fire and EMS arrived on the scene and loaded the five victims in ambulances and got them to Western Plains Medical Center.
The victims were flown out to multiple locations from there. All five subjects were still alive at the time of removal from the house but the prognosis at this point is not good.
Detectives investigating the case believe it appears to be a tragic accident caused by one subject running the vehicle inside the closed garage. The fumes filled the residence through the open interior door and made the others sick to the point of unconsciousness before ever realizing what was happening and why. One subject was on the phone with his mother in Guatemala when he passed out. His mother tried for over two hours to get help from friends in Dodge City before reaching the friend who originally found them and called police.
At this time, the agency understands the victims to be adult males, four of them are brothers, the fifth is an adult son of one of them.
The agency says “we are heartbroken for the family.”