ShareThis Page

Coroner: Carbon monoxide likely killed Monessen woman

| Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013, 12:02 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.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.