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Nazareth/Northampton News

Northampton County man using generator during power outage dies of carbon monoxide poisoning

Photo | K.C. Lopez / WLVR

BUSHKILL TWP., Pa. - A 71-year-old man who was using a generator at his home due to a power outage died of carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Northampton County Coroner's Office.

Joel S. Kotulka, of the 300 block of Old Allentown Road in Bushkill Township, was pronounced dead on Christmas night, Coroner Zachary Lysek said.

  • The 71-year-old victim was found in his garage on Christmas night
  • The neighborhood had lost power during a Dec. 23 storm
  • The man was using a generator to power appliances in the home, the coroner said

Kotulka was found at about 7:50 p.m. unresponsive in his garage, where a running generator was being used, Lysek said. The neighborhood had lost power during a Dec. 23 storm, and the victim had been using the generator to power several appliances in the home, he said.

The storm packed heavy winds and snow showers and knocked out power to thousands across the Lehigh Valley.

Kotulka was taken by ambulance to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Hecktown Oaks, where he was pronounced dead at 9:11 p.m., Lysek said.

He ruled the cause of death as carbon monoxide toxicity and declared the manner of death an accident.