Three construction workers dead from carbon monoxide poisoning

Three construction workers died Monday after spending the night in a house they were working on. According to the Pataskala, Ohio, coroner’s office, carbon monoxide poisoning caused the deaths.

A fourth worker was found among the dead, and is in critical condition at Ohio State University Medical Center.

The room where the men were sleeping was heated by a kerosene heater, which was powered by a gas generator in the basement. Both machines were out of fuel by morning, and the only open window was in the basement. A caller to 911 said Monday morning there might be four men frozen in a house under construction. When found, the men were huddled against the walls of a room wearing thick winter coats.

Neighbors said they had heard the men working on the house until as late as 8 p.m. Sunday night. Officials think the workers spent the night in the house to get an early start on the roof the next day.

Only one of the men, drywall installer Jorge Luis Quintero, was authorized to work on the house. He was one of the dead. The other victims’ names were not released, but authorities said two of them had identification cards from Mexico.