DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver woman has died from carbon monoxide poisoning while she was trying to heat her home with a gas generator.
Scarlett Jones, 40, lived in the 2600 block of Pontiac Street in Denver. Her gas and electricity had been turned off for nonpayment.
Denver police said there was a carbon monoxide detector inside the home but there were no batteries inside it.
The fire department says during tough economic times they commonly find people trying to creatively heat their homes, but it is very dangerous.
Firefighters say the carbon monoxide level inside Scarlet Jones’ home was measured seven times above the normal amount.
“It’s a difficult time,” Scarlet Jones’ former husband Carlos Jones said.
Carlos Jones said the generator was in a separate room from where Scarlet slept and the window was cracked open.
Friends say Scarlet was having a tough time paying her bills. Thursday wasn’t the first time her gas and electricity had been cut.
“I talked to her later that night. I asked her, ‘Did you apply for LEAP?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ I told her they weren’t supposed to cut her heat then. She just said, ‘I know, I’ve got to try and figure something out,’ ” friend Theresa Harlan said.
Xcel Energy says help is a phone call away for their customers.
“I think people assume they aren’t going to qualify for one reason or the other. But that’s not the case; you call and we will have something for you,” Gabriel Romera with Xcel said.
The owners of the Section 8 rental property stopped by the house Monday. They had no comment. All rentals are required to have carbon monoxide detectors.
Friends say Scarlet was trying to get her life on track after her son’s death.
“This is a very difficult time because my son committed suicide 6 months ago in this same house,” Carlos Jones said.
Xcel said one of their assistance programs even offers free weatherization services for homes.
A memorial fund had been set up for the Scarlet’s Jones. Donate at any US Bank location.