Portsmouth Replaces Heat Systems after 2 CO Deaths

January 20, 2013

PORTSMOUTH, Va. (AP) - More than 160 heating units at a Portsmouth public housing complex have been replaced following two carbon monoxide deaths.

The combined water heater-heating units installed at Swanson Homes are designed to shut down in the event of a malfunction.

Portsmouth Redevelopment and Housing Authority deputy director Kathy Warren says 163 units were replaced at a cost of $1.5 million.

Warren tells The Virginian-Pilot that agency officials are looking at converting the entire 210-unit complex to electric. But she says such a move would be costly.

Relatives found the bodies of 65-year-old Leroy Stith and his wife, 65-year-old Inez Stith, on June 21, 2012. Warren had said the gas-fueled heater in the couple's apartment malfunctioned and created a fatal level of carbon monoxide.

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