1 dead, 3 ill in possible carbon monoxide poisoning at Koreatown apartment complex

A woman walks past an apartment building in Koreatown where one person was found dead.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

One person was found dead and three others fell ill at a Koreatown apartment complex Thursday evening in what authorities believe to be a case of carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said.

Hazardous materials crews searched each of the 48 units in the four-story building at 920 South Hobart Blvd., where in some areas they found elevated levels of carbon monoxide, said Brian Humphrey, a spokesman for the Los Angeles Fire Department.

“It’s a silent killer,” Humphrey said, adding that the 90-year-old building was evacuated as crews turned off utilities and blew fresh air through the structure.


Crews were called to the complex shortly before 6 p.m. During the search, they used hand-held sensing equipment. Some units were empty and authorities had to force their way in.

No other victims were found in the search, but fire crews said a second person had been found dead recently in the complex. It’s unclear if the previous incident is related.

The three people who were sickened were taken to a hospital for treatment and tests.

Humphrey advised residents to never use a generator indoors, get heating equipment and appliances checked regularly, and make sure their carbon monoxide alarms work.

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