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Irma death toll rises to at least 24 after carbon monoxide poisonings in Florida

Alfonso Jose Jr., 2, is floated down his flooded street by his parents as the wade through water to reach an open convenience store in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

MIAMI (AP) — At least 24 people have died in the United States as a result of Hurricane Irma. The death toll increased on Wednesday with reports of at least 9 carbon monoxide-related deaths in Florida, including six elderly people killed in a nursing home in Hollywood.

Early on Wednesday three people were reported dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at a Florida home following Hurricane Irma, and four others have been hospitalized.

Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jeff Williams says a deputy responded to the Orlando home Tuesday evening following a 911 call from what sounded like a juvenile. The deputy was overcome by fumes while approaching the home and called for fire rescue.

Firefighters pulled seven people from the home, three of whom died at the scene. Four others were taken to a nearby hospital in various conditions.

Rescue workers found a portable gasoline generator running inside the home.

Williamson described the victims as a multi-generational family.

The number of deaths blamed on Irma in Florida climbed to 18, in addition to four in South Carolina and two in Georgia. At least 37 people were killed in the Caribbean.

Authorities suspect 65-year-old David Boatswain, a Miami man, died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator running inside his home.

Miami-Dade Police Department Officer Robin Pinkard said Tuesday that a neighbor discovered Boatswain in his home Monday morning after he didn't answer his phone. A medical examiner is investigating, but emergency responders said the home tested positive for carbon monoxide.

Authorities say a Mississippi man died in a crash at a Florida intersection where the traffic signals weren't working after Hurricane Irma.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports that the 59-year-old Coffeeville, Mississippi, man died early Tuesday when his pickup truck collided with a semitrailer in Marion County. The Florida Highway Patrol says Irma had knocked out the signals.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not immediately released.

Officials say intersections with broken traffic signals should be treated as four-way stops.

Florida officials say crews are restoring power across the state, but 9.5 million people remain without electricity.

State Emergency Management Center officials say they restored power to 1.7 million homes and businesses on Tuesday.

Of the three South Florida counties that were hit the hardest, Palm Beach is the only one where more than half have power.



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