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Coroner investigating woman's death in Monessen

| Monday, Feb. 4, 2013, 12:30 p.m.

A Monessen woman may have succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning while trying to dry clothes using her gas oven, the Westmoreland County Coroner's Office reported.

Sandra Y. Troilo, 77, who lived in an apartment at Eastgate Manor, 210 Oneida St., was discovered unresponsive and not breathing by family members about 10:20 a.m. Monday.

When police and paramedics arrived, their personal carbon monoxide detectors were activated, the coroner's office reported.

It appeared that Troilo was using her gas oven to dry clothes, the coroner said.

She was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:49 a.m.

The coroner's office said an autopsy will not be performed. Toxicology tests to determine whether Troilo died of carbon monoxide poisoning and the levels of gas in her body will not be available for several weeks.

Monessen police, who are investigating the incident, were unavailable for comment.

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 — since a buildup of carbon monoxide gas can occur.

Walter Kaminski, deputy executive director of the Westmoreland County Housing Authority, which operates Eastgate Manor, said residents of the floor Troilo lived on were evacuated to another part of the building for a time while fire crews cleared any remaining carbon monoxide from the area.

Kaminski said Troilo was a fairly new resident of the complex.

He said the building has 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).”

Jennifer Reeger is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6155 or jreeger@tribweb.com.

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