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Lake Charles family died of carbon monoxide poisoning after surviving Laura

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Posted at 7:33 PM, Sep 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-08 23:44:51-04

Relatives of a Lake Charles family who died from carbon monoxide poisoning after Hurricane Laura swept through are mourning their loved ones as the city continues to clean up the storm's destruction.

Shelette Brundidge of Houston tells 6ABC that she and her family were relieved after the storm came through. They checked on their relatives in Lake Charles to learn they were without power, but otherwise unharmed. Brundidge says the next day, a wind blew a garage door shut, trapping a generator's carbon monoxide fumes inside.

Four of the family members died in the home. Brundidge's uncle Clyde Handy; her cousin, Kimberly Evans; Kimberly's husband Chris; and Kimberly's mother Rosa all died in the home, while Kimberly's father John Charles Lewis, Sr. died later at a local hospital.

Shelette tells 6ABC that Clyde was a usher at his church, Rosa was employed by the United States Postal Service, and Charles Sr. was a retired truck driver.

She was the first African-American female letter carrier in Lake Charles and the first African-American female supervisor at the U.S. Postal Service in Louisiana, according to Brundidge.

The family members chose to stay and ride out the storm at the home with Rosa, who had Alzheimer's disease, because they thought an evacuation might be too difficult on her.

"This is just an example for us and everyone that we need to come together now more than ever as family," said Brundidge.

All five will be buried after a joint funeral on September 13 in Lake Charles.

Read more from 6ABC here.

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