15 Sep 2014
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Hoarder Fills House With Gas After Spending Night With Dead Brother: Cops

Oak Lawn man was despondent over death of brother who died in home the day before. Filled home with natural gas in suicide attempt, police say.

Hoarder Fills House With Gas After Spending Night With Dead Brother: Cops

An Oak Lawn man who had spent the night with the body of his dead brother in what police describe as a hoarder house, attempted to kill himself Wednesday evening by filling his home with natural gas.

Neighbors contacted NICOR around 7 p.m. Wednesday in Oak Lawn after smelling a strong odor of natural gas coming from a house 9620 S. Mayfield Ave., police said.

When the NICOR employee was unable to enter the house after his monitor recorded a high level gas reading, police and firefighters were called to the scene.

Firefighters evacuated homes in the immediate area due to the high level of gas. The gas line was shut off and windows were broken to ventilate the house, Oak Lawn Fire Chief George Sheets said.

“Our gas monitors determined that the house had an extreme amount of gas,” Sheets said. “We were extremely concerned about the high gas levels and a potential explosion.”

Firefighters ventilated the house by opening windows and using positive pressure fans to remove the fumes.

When police and firefighters were finally able to enter the home, they found a man dead on a couch in the front room. A second man was discovered unconscious in a bedroom and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition.

The deceased is identified as Glenn Griffith, 52, who lived in the home with his 64-year-old brother. Police believe that Griffith died in the house the day before from a brain tumor.

His despondent brother detached the interior gas lines and filled the house gas, and became overcome by the fumes, police said.

Sources tell Patch that a suicide note was found in the house.

Police said in a news advisory that the house was a “hoarder” house, which has been deemed uninhabitable by the Village of Oak Lawn health and sanitation inspector. There were no other reported injuries.

The Cook County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy Thursday morning on Glenn Griffith, and believes his death was of natural causes. No foul play is suspected.

A police investigation in ongoing.


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