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Hoarder Fills House With Gas After Spending Night With Dead Brother: Cops

Oak Lawn man was despondent over death of brother who died in home the day before. Filled home with natural gas in suicide attempt, police say.

Home at 9620 S. Mayfield Ave., in Oak Lawn, where a man reportedly tried to commit suicide after his brother died in house the day before on April 23.
Home at 9620 S. Mayfield Ave., in Oak Lawn, where a man reportedly tried to commit suicide after his brother died in house the day before on April 23.

An Oak Lawn man who had spent the night with the body of his dead brother in what police describe as a hoarder house, attempted to kill himself Wednesday evening by filling his home with natural gas.

Neighbors contacted NICOR around 7 p.m. Wednesday in Oak Lawn after smelling a strong odor of natural gas coming from a house 9620 S. Mayfield Ave., police said.

When the NICOR employee was unable to enter the house after his monitor recorded a high level gas reading, police and firefighters were called to the scene.

Firefighters evacuated homes in the immediate area due to the high level of gas. The gas line was shut off and windows were broken to ventilate the house, Oak Lawn Fire Chief George Sheets said.

“Our gas monitors determined that the house had an extreme amount of gas,” Sheets said. “We were extremely concerned about the high gas levels and a potential explosion.”

Firefighters ventilated the house by opening windows and using positive pressure fans to remove the fumes.

When police and firefighters were finally able to enter the home, they found a man dead on a couch in the front room. A second man was discovered unconscious in a bedroom and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in critical condition.

The deceased is identified as Glenn Griffith, 52, who lived in the home with his 64-year-old brother. Police believe that Griffith died in the house the day before from a brain tumor.

His despondent brother detached the interior gas lines and filled the house gas, and became overcome by the fumes, police said.

Sources tell Patch that a suicide note was found in the house.

Police said in a news advisory that the house was a “hoarder” house, which has been deemed uninhabitable by the Village of Oak Lawn health and sanitation inspector. There were no other reported injuries.

The Cook County Medical Examiner conducted an autopsy Thursday morning on Glenn Griffith, and believes his death was of natural causes. No foul play is suspected.

A police investigation in ongoing.


Joe Kocur April 26, 2014 at 08:48 PM
Dana- Sarah- another dispatching error today. When people need help they need assistance now. Who's supervising the dispatch center?
Bob April 27, 2014 at 09:41 AM
According to the Patch there is no more house or garage burgleries in Oaklawn. Crime is not covered since the change in administrations. I guess the mayor has eliminated crime. Oh wait they still report it in the Southtown and the Reporter.
Jacob Matthews April 27, 2014 at 10:24 AM
I would tell you the truth, but it would be deleted, as are all comments that are the truth. Wake up people and figure out why!!!
Michelle May 28, 2014 at 04:02 PM
They mentioned hoarder to express how dangerous it could have been if the house ignited. Human compassion blah blah blah. He had been trough a lot ok fine. Suicidal he could have sought help. I have had family members with cancer and tumors, he could have sought help to deal with the grief. He chose to end his life that was his choice and I suppose even his right. But the surrounding neighbors did not. What if one of the neighbors decided to have a backyard bonfire or grill some food not knowing of the gas penetrating the air? Innocent lives would have been lost. So take your compassion and shove it! How about some consideration for the people in the neighborhood? I wish the best for the remaining family members I really do, but everyone needs to come off it with this feel good crap.
Michelle May 28, 2014 at 04:03 PM
What ever makes you all feel better about yourself. What this man did was a selfish act.

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