Man Dies From CO Poisoning While Cleaning Carpets

Man Dies From CO Poisoning While Cleaning Carpets

CREATED Jan 24, 2014

HERMITAGE, Tenn. – A man was killed while cleaning the carpet inside a Hermitage home after police said he likely succumbed to carbon monoxide fumes.

Renter Toby Yim was supposed to sign a lease for the house on Tulip Blossom Drive Friday. He stopped by to meet someone from the cable company before 10:30 a.m., but knew something was wrong as soon as he opened the door.

"Then I was just hit with this wave. I thought it was gas at first, but some sort of exhaust odor - a very strong odor," he said.

Yim found Al Batson, Jr., on the floor in an upstairs room. He called 911 emergency dispatch, but it was too late.

"It was clear that he had passed away, so there was nothing that I could do," said Yim.

Investigators with the Metro Nashville Police Department were unsure how long Batson had been at the home. He was scheduled to clean the carpets the day before.

The exact cause of death was unclear, but officials believe Batson was using a generator-powered machine inside this van to clear the home's carpets, but the van was in the garage, with the doors closed.

The generator was still running when Yim got to the house.

Officials said the exhaust could have quickly filled the home with carbon monoxide.

"What a tragic way to die - just by not opening a window or a door," said Yim. "It's a tragedy that is very avoidable and I really hope that doesn't happen to anyone else."

Police will have to wait on a toxicology report to officially tell them if Batson died from carbon monoxide poisoning, or if it was from natural causes.