As Christmas time approached, Derek Frazier got the bad news from his bank: his Fort Lauderdale house was being placed in foreclosure, like so many other houses in the Sunshine State. Frazier had been out of work for months.
It didn't take long for the electricity to stop surging though the modest home; it had been turned off by the electric company.
To keep his family warm , Frazier reportedly started using an indoor gas generator to provide power. It also provided an atmosphere saturated with carbon monoxide.
This week, Frazier's four young children were rushed to an area hospital suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
"This family had been suffering for some time, "understated a member of the Fort Lauderdale Police, as quoted by at least one media account.
While two of the children have already been released from the hospital, two others remain on ventilators and listed in critical condition.
Just a small snapshot of our time for you to consider this holiday season...Charles Dickens would not be shocked!
Charles Feldman is a journalist, media consultant and the co-author of the book, "No Time To Think --The Menace of Media Speed and the 24-hour News Cycle."