LINDSTROM (AP) - Carbon monoxide poisoning is suspected in the deaths of two women whose bodies were found in a home in east-central Minnesota.

Police were called to the home in Lindstrom Monday afternoon to check on an employee who had not been heard from since Thursday.

The officer saw a woman slumped over a couch, apparently dead. Police forced the door open and found two women - ages 53 and 56 - dead inside the home where they lived.

An investigation found "extreme" levels of carbon monoxide in the home, and the furnace had stopped. The furnace exhaust pipe was plugged with soot and ice.

The first officer at the scene was treated at a hospital for carbon monoxide exposure.

The names of the victims are being withheld until relatives are notified.