Granada Hills Youth, 17, Dies After Inhaling Freon Fumes

A 17-year-old Granada Hills youth died Saturday night after sniffing fumes from an aerosol can in the Hollywood Hills, Los Angeles police said.

The boy, who was not identified because of his age, was among about 20 youths who had gathered in a parking lot on Crestview Drive to inhale fumes from cans containing Freon, a refrigerant used in air conditioners, Police Lt. Ken Small said.

Witnesses told police the incident occurred at 10:25 p.m. After watching another boy inhale the gas without any apparent ill effect, the victim took four deep breaths of the fumes in an effort to show off, police said.

He then staggered into the street, collapsed and started having convulsions, police said.

Paramedics took the boy to the Medical Center of North Hollywood, where he was pronounced dead at 10:47 p.m., Small said.


A hospital spokeswoman said the victim apparently died of heart failure from the Freon, a caustic chemical.