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Coroner: Carbon monoxide likely killed Monessen woman

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Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
 

Alan Ferritti was walking into an elevator when he met Sandra Troilo last week.

“She said, ‘I guess I'll be your new neighbor,'” Ferritti recalled.

Monday, Troilo, 77, was pronounced dead — an apparent victim of carbon monoxide poisoning — at Eastgate Manor, a Westmoreland County Housing Authority high-rise apartment building at 210 Oneida St., Monessen.

“It's a sad day. It truly is,” said Ferritti, who lived a couple doors down from Troilo.

Troilo apparently was using the oven on her gas stove to dry clothing when she was overcome by fumes, Westmoreland County Coroner Kenneth A. Bacha reported.

High levels of carbon monoxide were detected in Troilo's room, Monessen police Chief Mark Gibson said.

An autopsy will not be performed, Bacha said. Toxicology tests to determine carbon monoxide levels in Troilo's body will not be available for several weeks, he added.

Troilo was discovered, not breathing, 10:20 a.m. Monday in Apartment 207 by her grandson, Chris Troilo, who had planned to take her to a medical appointment.

She lived alone in the apartment.

Police and emergency medical crews evacuated residents on the second floor, where Troilo lived. The residents were taken to the first floor and a TV room. Windows were opened to air out the floor.

Residents were allowed to return home after authorities determined it was safe to do so.

City police and firefighters; Mon Valley Emergency Medical Services personnel; Westmoreland County detectives; and Deputy Coroner John Ackerman were dispatched to the residence. Ackerman pronounced Troilo dead at the scene at 11:49 a.m.

Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can cause sudden illness or death. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns against using gas stoves for anything other than cooking — particularly heating — because a buildup of carbon monoxide gas can occur.

Walter Kaminski, deputy executive director of the Westmoreland County Housing Authority, said the building has clothes washers and dryers available to residents.

Kaminski added that residents are regularly advised of safety issues, including the proper use of gas appliances.

“The managers are required to have monthly meetings with the tenants,” Kaminski said. “They go over anything the residents want to talk about.

“Safety issues, when they are brought up, are addressed, and we have a yearly safety meeting regarding the evacuation of the building, fire drills (and other topics).”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or cbuckley@tribweb.com.

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