Local emergency responders have seen 17 cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, six of which were fatal, that are likely tied to the improper use of generators.
In one Port Arthur location, seven people were impacted and three died.
Justice of the Peace Precinct 7 Brad Burnett said the owner of the game room Vida Vinh, 720 Ninth Ave., was approached by some people seeking shelter from the hurricane and he allowed them to stay there.
There was a generator that was outside but was moved inside, Burnett said.
Generators are supposed to be used outdoors with proper ventilation; officials said, stressing when they are left indoors it leads to the chance of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Authorities are still trying to confirm identification of the deceased, two of which are males from Port Arthur.
All of the victims are male with the exception of one female who, along with three others, were taken to a local hospital, Burnett said.
An investigation into the incident is underway and autopsies have been ordered, he said.
Port Arthur Deputy Fire Chief and Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator Louie Havens said five people in the area were brought to a local hospital in full cardiac arrest. Three of those people did not survive.
Information on the names of the victims was not available.
Sergeant Stephanie Davis of the Texas Department of Public Safety said with power outages across Southeast Texas, many residents are using portable generators as a source for temporary electrical power. However, portable generators come with serious hazards, including carbon monoxide poisoning and fire hazards.
According to the City of Port Arthur, more than 22 people, including one child flown to Texas Children’s hospital, have been taken to local hospitals with possible Carbon Monoxide poisoning due to the use of portable generators.
“We are saddened to report three deaths from generators have been reported for the City of Port Arthur as of today,” a city statement said.