SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. -- Two men found dead in a house in Sea Ranch on Wednesday might have succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning, the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office said Thursday.
The two have been identified as Gene Beauchamp, 74, of Colusa County and Phil Mabray, 61, of Butte County.
Dispatch first got the call around 11:22 a.m. Wednesday reporting two men dead in a house in the 300 block of Spinnaker Close.
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A crew had discovered the men when they arrived to remove a tree that had fallen on the house, leading early reports of the deaths to incorrectly state that they died as a result of the toppled tree.
According to the Sheriff's Office, the men were in separate bedrooms but there was a generator in the hallway.
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Sea Ranch has been experiencing widespread power failures as a result of the storms and people have been using generators for power. The power switch on the generator was turned on but the fuel tank was empty, the Sheriff's Office said.
The final cause of death will be determined by the medical examiner, but the Sheriff's Office noted that "noxious" fumes are released by generators that can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and death. Generators should always be run outdoors and at least 20 feet away from any occupied building, according to the Sheriff's Office.
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