Woman and child dead after AC unit malfunction at motel

ROCKY MOUNT, North Carolina -- Officials are investigating when a woman and child died after an air-conditioning unit malfunctioned and began emitting smoke in a North Carolina motel room.

The incident at the Economy Inn on Highway 48 in Gold Rock was a possible electrocution, police say.

Kendra Pittman, 30, went into cardiac arrest and died. A 9-year-old girl also died at a nearby hospital, according to police.

A 10-year-old boy in the hotel room told first responders that after the AC began to smoke, the woman checked the unit and then opened the door to allow the smoke to escape the room. When she tried to exit the room, she fell unconscious.

City of Rocky Mount electricians cut power to the room and adjacent rooms after the incident.

Officials said the woman who died was one of five people living in the motel room.

An autopsy will be performed to determine the woman's cause of death. The incident remains under investigation.
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