A death at a townhome in Davidson has triggered a local alert about the dangers of carbon monoxide cars with push-button ignition. Preliminary investigation indicates that Ray Harrington died in his townhome at 223 Harbour Place Drive as a result of exposure to carbon monoxide.
On Monday, Davidson police responded to a “check the welfare” of a resident call at the townhome. After some investigation, officers entered the home and found the resident deceased. There were no signs of trauma, forced entry or struggle.
Later that day, the Davidson Fire Department responded to a call from a townhome near Harrington’s address about the continuing activation of a carbon monoxide sensor. DFD took a reading but did not detect anything abnormal.
On the afternoon of Tuesday, March 20, police, along with the fire department personnel, returned to 223 Harbour Place Drive at the instruction of the Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner’s office. High levels of carbon monoxide were found in the home, a three-story unit with a ground level garage.
The resident’s vehicle, a 2011 model that can be operated by a remote control keyless fob, was parked in the garage and was determined to be the source of the carbon monoxide. The vehicle has been secured and will be processed. The investigation is continuing.
Harrington, 62, was an assistant professor of criminal justice and an assistant softball coach at Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer. A campus-wide memorial service was held Wednesday.
As a result of the incident, the DPD is encouraging owners of vehicles with remote starters to make sure the vehicle is turned off when not in use, especially if the vehicle is parked in a garage attached to a home. Police also recommend all homes with any fossil fuel-burning devices have carbon monoxide detectors placed near sleeping areas and near the device that generates carbon monoxide.
For more information about why carbon monoxide detectors are important, where to place carbon monoxide detectors in your home, the symptoms and effects of carbon monoxide and more, visit Mecklenburg County’s carbon monoxide information website, www.carbonmonoxide1.com.