Poisoned Elderly Harlem Couple’s Carbon Monoxide Detector Was Disabled

April 20, 2017

The carbon monoxide detector in an East Harlem apartment where an elderly couple was discovered dead had been disabled when its alarm went off, an FDNY spokesman told Patch.

Doris Crawford, 71, and John Crawford, 80, were found dead Sunday of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning inside their apartment on the 1900 block of First Avenue, fire officials said. The two were apparently poisoned when a stove in the apartment was left running, an FDNY spokesman confirmed. The FDNY initially believed the stove to be defective, but it’s now unclear whether the stove was working or not, an FDNY spokesman said.

The apartment’s carbon monoxide detector was discovered on a table with its batteries removed, an FDNY spokesman confirmed. One of Crawford’s may have removed the detector’s batteries after its alarm went off, not knowing the apartment was filling with carbon monoxide, fire officials said.

The Crawford’s bodies were discovered by their daughter and her husband when the two came to pick them up for Easter Sunday church services.


The FDNY will continue its investigation into the elderly couple’s death, an FDNY spokesman told Patch.

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