Carbon monoxide deaths near Des Plaines ruled accidental

  • Investigators have determined the deaths of a father and son from carbon monoxide poisoning last Thursday to be accidental, caused by a vehicle left running in the attached garage of their home on the 9400 block of Harrison Street near Des Plaines.

    Investigators have determined the deaths of a father and son from carbon monoxide poisoning last Thursday to be accidental, caused by a vehicle left running in the attached garage of their home on the 9400 block of Harrison Street near Des Plaines. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 8/31/2015 4:51 PM

The Cook County medical examiner's office has ruled that the deaths of a father and son in their Maine Township home Thursday were accidental.

Cook County sheriff's police had earlier determined that a vehicle left running in the attached garage of the home on the 9400 block of Harrison Street near Des Plaines was the source of the carbon monoxide poisoning that killed John Tae Kim, 83, and his son Hong Kyu Kim, 53.

 

The toxic gas also critically injured the wife of John Tae Kim, who remained in critical condition Monday. Her name has not been released by police.

Sheriff's spokeswoman Sophia Ansari said the vehicle was not a keyless ignition model. Investigators are still working to determine how events unfolded, she said.

"All our evidence is pointing to this being an accident," Ansari said.

But she could not be more specific, or say where in the house the three victims were found.

Though the medical examiner's office has ruled on the cause and manner of death, a full autopsy report had not yet been written or filed Monday, said Frank Shuftan, director of communications for the Cook County board president's office.

Father and son were pronounced dead at their home after police were called about 3:30 p.m. Thursday by a relative who reported three people in distress.

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The Kim family ran Signature A-1 Cleaners at 359 W. Irving Park Road in Wood Dale. Business owners in the same shopping center said the cleaners was unexpectedly closed for several days before Thursday's discovery.

The first four sheriff's deputies in the house Thursday afternoon developed difficulty breathing and were all briefly hospitalized, Ansari said. That led to a response from hazardous materials crews, who worked to clear the townhouse of any dangerous substances before police and firefighters went back inside.

The two-story townhouse is part of a five-unit building near Harrison Street and Dee Road, across from Apollo Elementary School.

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