A man who apparently used fumes from a charcoal grill burning inside his home's bathroom to commit suicide forced police to evacuate an entire Bridgeville neighborhood Tuesday morning.
Authorities said Charles Krohn sealed himself inside his bathroom shower stall, turning the room into a makeshift gas chamber at his home at 35 New York Circle.
Bridgeville police Chief Chad King said the man’s wife awoke Tuesday morning to find notes on the bathroom door urging no one to come in or turn on the lights. She called police, who decided to evacuate about 10 homes in the area because they didn’t know what gas was used in the apparent suicide.
“Once we saw what was going on we immediately exited,” King said. “I didn’t want anyone else to be harmed because of an explosion or poisonous gas.”
Numerous firefighters and police officers arrived at the quiet cul-de-sac shortly after 8 a.m. The Allegheny County Bomb Squad and fire marshal also were called to the house.
A bomb squad robot was used to monitor the bathroom. King said the robot's camera found what appeared to be a charcoal grill in the shower with him. When it was determined there no longer was a threat from the fumes, firefighters ventilated the house and medics pronounced Krohn dead at 11:17 a.m.
King said police were previously at the house on Sept. 12 while assisting federal investigators with a search warrant. While there, they noticed equipment in his garage that appeared to be a makeshift gas chamber, King said.
“He was preparing,” King said. “It was quite obvious.”
Krohn was taken to St. Clair Hospital for a psychological evaluation and released on Sept. 17, King said.
King referred questions about the federal investigation to the FBI, which was also on scene. FBI officials could not immediately be reached for comment.