The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

February 28, 2013

Enid man dies after being found in garage working on generator

By Robert Barron, Staff Writer
Associated Press

ENID, Okla. — An Enid man died Wednesday night after being found unresponsive in his garage where he apparently was working on a generator providing power to his home.

Phillip Clay, 69, was found at 8:48 p.m. Wednesday in the garage of a house in the 500 block of North Grant. His residence had lost electricity in Monday’s blizzard.

A report by Enid Police Department officer Thomas Rhyne stated firefighters were performing CPR on Clay when he arrived. Rhyne said he heard a gas-powered generator running and smelled “an elevated odor of exhaust fumes in the air.”

The garage door was open and Clay was lying across the opening, according to Rhyne’s report. Clay was transported to Integris Bass Baptist Health Center, where he was pronounced dead later.

Clay lived with his wife in a duplex and his mother lives in the other half of the duplex, according to Rhyne’s report. He was using the generator to provide heat and some electricity to the duplex.

“The garage the generator was located in had no ventilation to release the exhaust fumes from the gas generator,” Rhyne’s report stated.

A witness told Rhyne Clay went to check on the gas level of the generator. After 30 minutes, she checked and found him unresponsive and curled up in the garage near the closed door, according to the report.

Rhyne spoke with Dr. Brian Cook, the emergency room doctor, who suspected the cause of death was a high level of carbon dioxide. Clay’s body was sent to the Oklahoma State Medical Examiner’s office for autopsy.