Texas enabled the worst carbon monoxide poisoning catastrophe in recent U.S. history
A family used their car to stay warm when a storm brought down the Texas power grid. In a state that doesn’t require CO alarms, they had no warning they were poisoning themselves.
HOUSTON — When Shalemu Bekele awoke on the morning of Feb. 15, the townhouse he shared with his wife and two children was so cold, his fingers felt numb.
After bundling up in extra layers, Bekele looked out a frosted window: A winter storm had swept across Texas, knocking out power to millions of homes, including his own, and blanketing Houston in a thin layer of icy snow.
“It was beautiful,” Bekele, 51, recalled thinking as he headed outside to snap photos of his two children, ages 7 and 8, playing in their first snow. After a few minutes, he sent them back inside to warm up under blankets as he cleared ice off his car, unsure if he would be expected to drive into work.