The San Juan County Coroner has confirmed that the death of two islanders was due to carbon monoxide poisoning.
“It’s a combination of things,” said Coroner Randy Gaylord. “There was the inspection of the house and the fact that two other people in the home were treated for carbon monoxide.”
Kelli Ashcraft, 21, and Troy Sullivan, 31, were found deceased in a bedroom of a home outside of Friday Harbor on the morning of April 3.
According to Gaylord, Washington state legislature requires that new construction and resell of old construction have carbon monoxide detectors.
‘The community should know that the detectors are readily available for purchase,” said Gaylord.
He added that there is no evidence of an intentional death, but that it is premature to rule anything out.
According to Krebs, the sheriff’s investigation revealed a possible source of the poisoning.
“It appears to be from a faulty hot water heater,” said Krebs. “At this time we are not pursuing any criminal charges.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “Each year, more than 400 Americans die from unintentional CO poisoning not linked to fires, more than 20,000 visit the emergency room, and more than 4,000 are hospitalized.”
The danger of such a poisoning, also called the silent killer, is that it’s an odorless, tasteless and colorless gas. Symptoms are also subtle and can be disguised as the flu.
According to the CDC, “CO is found in fumes produced any time you burn fuel in cars or trucks, small engines, stoves, lanterns, grills, fireplaces, gas ranges, or furnaces. CO can build up indoors and poison people and animals who breathe it.”
You can read more at www.cdc.gov/co/faqs.htm.
For islanders, the deaths of two young people is a blow to our community.
“It’s a tragic event in the community to lose two people of that age,” said Gaylord.
Read the Journal for more updates.