A 43-year-old man is dead and a woman is undergoing treatment after an apparent carbon monoxide poisoning incident in Holly Hill on Tuesday morning.
Holly Hill Police Chief Josh Detter said the injured woman called dispatchers at 6:50 a.m. from a camper that was parked behind a residence at 2805 Eutaw Road, at the intersection of Peake Street.
Detter said when the woman called, “It was just her yelling, I don’t think there was any sort of words said necessarily. I guess dispatch was able to ping or GPS her location.”
Detter said the initial officer on the scene arrived and found the woman, “fading in and out of consciousness.”
At some point the woman “moved and pulled the blankets or some clothing or something and then they were able to see there was a male laying in the bed as well,” Detter said.
The man was deceased.
“It is believed that he succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning,” Detter said.
Officers also noticed several animals inside of the camper, including a deceased long-haired Chihuahua type of dog.
“There is a bulldog or pit bull of some sort,” Detter said. “She was OK and I got her out.”
“There’s a cat in there that’s as skittish as can be and there’s a possum in there that weighs 25 pounds,” Detter said. He noted that the possum was in a cage and named Snoopy.
The possum, cat and bulldog survived and have since been left with the property owner, Detter said.
Detter said, “The preliminary determination we made was after I got there, I went inside because I could hear an engine and I opened the bathroom door and discovered there was a generator to power the heater to keep the camper warm.”
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, “Generators should be used outdoors only, far from windows, doors and vents. The carbon monoxide produced by one generator is equal to the carbon monoxide produced by hundreds of running cars. It can incapacitate and kill consumers within minutes.”
Orangeburg County Animal Control responded to the scene and removed the deceased small dog.
The Orangeburg County Coroner’s Office did not immediately return phone calls on Tuesday.
The incident remains under investigation.