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Officials identify 3 East Texans who died from carbon monoxide poisoning in Nacogdoches County home

Law enforcement says the gas generator was in the corner of the porch and the exhaust pipe from the generator was very close to the residence.

NACOGDOCHES COUNTY, Texas — Three people died of apparent carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a generator at a home in the Melrose community, Nacogdoches County Sheriff Jason Bridges said in a Monday morning press release.

According to Sheriff Bridges, deputies were dispatched to the residence located on County Road 4081 around 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Deputies entered the residence and found the bodies of three people. The Melrose Volunteer Fire Department assisted in ventilating the residence to make it safe for first responders to enter.  

Investigators with Nacogdoches County Sheriff's Office (NCSO) and the Texas Rangers arrived at the scene and conducted an investigation into the deaths. The investigation revealed the victims had no power to the residence and had been operating a gas portable generator on the front porch.  

Law enforcement observed the gas generator was in the corner of the porch and the exhaust pipe from the generator was very close to the residence. An investigation revealed the exhaust pipe from the generator had melted a hole in the siding of the residence that allowed carbon monoxide from the generator to enter into the home.

The victims have been identified as:

  • Deborah Wright, 63, of Nacogdoches
  • James Harkness Jr., 60, of Nacogdoches
  • Richard Woodard, 42, of Mt. Enterprise

This investigation is ongoing and autopsies have been ordered by the Justice of the Peace Precinct 3 Judge Goerner.