Focus turns to carbon monoxide poisoning after 3 family members found dead in Philadelphia home

The cause of the deaths of three residents of the Holmesburg section of Philadelphia remains a mystery but investigators seem to be focusing on carbon monoxide poisoning.

HOLMESBURG, Pa. – The cause of the deaths of two adults and a child found in a Philadelphia-area home Thursday remains a mystery, but investigators seem to be focusing on carbon monoxide poisoning.

The family has identified the deceased as 56-year-old Jorge Cardona, 47-year-old Maricel Martinez and their 12-year-old daughter, Angelina Cardona. The city’s medical examiner has not released a cause of death, and the investigation continues, but the focus has turned to carbon monoxide found at high levels in the home. 

The Acting Fire Commissioner said on Thursday's scene that carbon monoxide alarms were set off as his investigators entered the home. Temperatures outside were in the mid- to upper 20s.


Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, said the city’s First Deputy Fire Commissioner, who urged residents on Friday to install CO alarms on every level of their homes, focusing on sleeping areas. 

"Because CO is colorless, odorless, and tasteless, you may not know you are suffering from the effects of CO," Philadelphia Fire Department’s First Deputy Jeffrey Thompson said.

Thompson said having stoves, water heaters and furnaces serviced and properly vented will protect against CO poisoning as investigators try to pinpoint what went so terribly wrong Thursday.