More deaths associated with Hurricane Laura were caused by the improper use of portable generators than the storm itself.
And officials warn that the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning persists, as thousands of households in Louisiana remain without power.
Eight of the 15 hurricane-related deaths confirmed by the Louisiana Department of Health are attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning from portable generators, which can provide life-saving power in emergency situations but also pose a deadly threat if used incorrectly.
The unidentified victims of carbon monoxide poisoning range in age from 24 to 84 years old, and outnumber the deaths caused by drowning, fallen trees and storm cleanup.
Officials in Lake Charles said at a press briefing on Friday that five people in one house succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning after fumes from their generator — which was running in an attached garage — entered through a door that was either partially or fully open.
Most generator-related fatalities are caused by carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless gas that can build up especially quickly in enclosed spaces. At certain levels, just five minutes of exposure is enough to be fatal.