Faulty furnace killed Illinois couple found in sweltering home


An Illinois couple married for nearly six decades died this week of heat exposure in their own home — when their furnace malfunctioned, authorities said.

Leevell Robinson, 80, and his wife, Ora Robinson, 78, died Sunday after being found unresponsive in their suburban Maywood home west of Chicago by one of their three children, fire officials told the Chicago Tribune.

The Robinsons were found in their sweltering home by one of their sons who said their furnace had recently been serviced because it was “malfunctioning,” police said.

The couple, who had been married for nearly 57 years, was discovered unconscious in bed before their son called 911, Maywood Fire Chief Craig Bronaugh told the Tribune.

Leevell Robinson was pronounced dead at the scene, while Ora Robinson was pronounced dead at a hospital about six hours later, officials said.

Autopsies found both died as a result of heat exposure, according to the Chicago-Sun Times. A coroner ruled both deaths to be accidental, the Tribune reported.

No evidence of foul play was found, a police spokeswoman said.

Firefighters manually shut down the furnace upon arrival and tested for elevated levels of carbon monoxide inside the home, which were not found, Bronaugh said.

The Robinsons’ three children, meanwhile, said it was especially tough to lose both parents at the same time – and just months ahead of the holiday season.

“My parents lived a good life,” daughter Terri Robinson told the Tribune. “It’s a loss for us. It’s a big hole in our hearts. But we’re going to be strong because that’s the way they raised us.”

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