Tampa Police Investigate Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

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WHEN: 9/1/11, 9:25 a.m.
WHERE: 5207 Cypress Palms Lane, Vista Grande Apartments

A maintenance worker smelled an odor outside building 900 of the Vista Grande Apartments shortly after 9:00 a.m. He recognized the odor and immediately began evacuating residents while the manager called 911. Tampa Fire Rescue responded to the scene and transported three victims to University Community Hospital. A 23-year-old female victim has died. A 20-year-old female victim is in serious condition. A 62-year-old woman who was feeling light headed was transported as a precaution. She is in stable condition. Captain Lonnie Bennefield of TFR is on scene speaking with the media.

Tampa Police Detectives have determined the owner of a 2011 gray, 5-door Mazda 3 left his car running in the garage. The first two victims lived in a downstairs apartment adjacent to the garage. The third victim, who suffered minor injuries, lived in an upstairs apartment.

The detectives are investigating to determine if a crime has occurred or if this incident is a tragic accident. Next of kin notification has not been made at this time. More details will be released, as they become available.

Laura McElroy