East Alabama workers found dead inside business

By Laura Ann Sills – email | Facebook | Twitter

VALLEY, AL (WTVM) - When the Alsobrook Counseling Center's office manager came to work Saturday morning she noticed the building's cleaning company's van was still in the parking lot.

As she opened the doors, she saw the two cleaning men still inside.

43-year-old Lorenzo Hodge and 53-year-old Clemmie Dawson were cousins that worked for the Top Notch Cleaning Company out of Opelika.

"One was sitting in the chair; one was lying on the floor. She could not get any response out of them," said Valley Police Major Mike Reynolds.

When Police arrived on the scene, we are told that they noticed a strong propane smell in the air.  "We are looking at this as a possible carbon monoxide poisoning. We have been in contact with OSHA and they have an investigator here," said Reynolds.

Valley Police say they called in OSHA because the men were on the job when they died.

Representative from the Counseling Center, Dr. Anne Penney, said, "They had apparently been working on the floors with come propane buffing equipment."  The OSHA Area director confirmed that the men were working with this type of equipment, but told News Leader Nine that they are not ruling out other possibilities of death.

Their bodies have been sent to the Alabama state crime lab for autopsies, but police warn it could be weeks before a definite answer as to how the men died.

Dr. Penney said the center is all electric and has no gas in the building.

WTVM is following this story and will bring you the autopsy results when they are released.

©2010 WTVM. All rights reserved.