Two teenagers are dead Wednesday night of carbon monoxide poisoning that may have been caused by a portable generator, police said.
The pair was found unresponsive at 192 Riverside Court, a townhouse complex, shortly before 6:30 p.m., according to Det. Todd McClendon, a spokesperson for the Newark Police Department. They were pronounced dead at the scene. Police did not release their names or ages.
Two people, who identified themselves as family members of the dead, said the sisters were 18 and 19 years old and did not live at the residence.
Preliminary cause of death is carbon monoxide poisoning, McClendon said. He said police located a generator in the back of the location, which may have been the source of the deadly fumes.
"They were heating with a generator, I guess due to the power being out," said Yosheico Jenkins, a cousin of the 18-year-old. "They were killed by the fumes."
Neighbors said the housing complex was without power in wake of Hurricane Sandy. Riverside Court resident Carmen Trinidad said power went out at 7:25 p.m. Monday.
Power outages are still plaguing 60 percent of Newark, which, at its peak, saw 95 percent of the city without power. Much of the outages are in the city's North Ward, where Riverside Court is located.
The 19-year-old victim had been visiting her boyfriend who lives at the residence, according to Tamika Paul, the victim's cousin.
Riverside Court residents Corey Coleman and Isiah Montigue said the Newark Housing Authority had installed new fixtures, as well as new carbon-monoxide detectors one month ago. The men also said the housing authority had conducted an inspection of the units two weeks ago.
The incident is under investigation by the Newark Police Department's Major Crimes Unit.
[Editor's note: This story originally published Wednesday, Oct. 31. It has since been updated.]