Authorities identified two of the three people whose bodies were found in a Long Beach apartment, where they apparently were overcome by carbon monoxide fumes from a propane heater designed for outdoor use.

The bodies, which were in a state of decomposition, were discovered about 7 p.m. Monday by police officers conducting a welfare check on people living in the apartment in the 1100 block of Gardenia Avenue, said coroner’s Assistant Chief Ed Winter.

Among the dead were Albert Salazar, 51, of San Pedro; Jamie Ballantyne, a 34-year-old woman from Long Beach; and a male whose age and name were unknown, said coroner’s Chief Craig Harvey.

Autopsies were pending to determine the cause of the deaths, which authorities have said appeared to have been from carbon monoxide poisoning. A propane heater was discovered near the victims, Winter said. The case was being investigated as an accident, Winter said.

Nancy Pratt of the Long Beach Police Department said officers found the bodies after going to the scene in response to a report of a “foul odor emitting from one of the units.”

The relationship between the occupants was unknown, Pratt said. They had moved into the apartment recently, according to reports from the scene.

“A large portable propane heater was located inside the unit,” Pratt said. “It appears the occupants were using (it) for warmth. These type of heaters are not intended for indoor use and can produce deadly levels of carbon monoxide if the area is not adequately ventilated.”

— City News Service

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