Family of four die from carbon monoxide poisoning: How to protect your family

The Capitano family were vacationing for the holidays at a friend’s cabin when they were killed by carbon monoxide poisoning. (Photo: Instagram)

Family and friends are mourning the deaths of an Arizona family of four who were found dead inside a vacation cabin on New Year’s weekend.

Anthony and Megan Capitano, 32, their son Lincoln, 4, and daughter Kingsli, 3, were vacationing for the holidays at a friend’s cabin in Parks, Arizona,  when they were killed by accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Authorities discovered the bodies on New Year’s Day after responding to a call for a welfare check at the cabin — it had been a few days since family and friends had heard from the Capitanos. When firefighters arrived on the scene, they found the bodies inside the cabin.

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“What I think is that they probably all got their jammies on, went to bed — I was told there was two beds in there,” family friend Rhonda Alsobrook told 12 News. “And they were sleeping and they probably snuggled up and went to sleep and that’s probably what happened. I don’t think they even knew.”

Investigators checked appliances and believe the family tragically died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to a leak in the gas furnace.

The only surviving family member is Anthony’s firstborn son, Ashton, who was visiting his mother in Texas at the time.

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Install battery-powered or battery backup carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in your home. (Photo: Getty)

Carbon monoxide (CO) is a gas that is often known as the “silent killer” as it’s colourless, odourless and tasteless.

In Canada, more than 50 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning. In the U.S., approximately 430 people die each year and about 50,000 people visit the emergency department from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

Poisoning, however, is entirely preventable — especially if you detect the symptoms early enough. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Carbon monoxide essentially poisons the body by interfering with its ability to receive oxygen — so if you’re asleep, you can die from poisoning before even having symptoms.

Actionable steps you can take to prevent poisoning include:

  • Never leave the car motor running while parked in an enclosed/partially enclosed space (ie. a garage).
  • Never use a charcoal grill or portable camping stoves inside a home, tent, or camper.
  • Avoid running a generator or gas-powered engine inside a basement, garage, or other enclosed spaces — even if the doors or windows are open.
  • Make sure vents are free of debris.
  • Install battery-powered or battery backup CO detectors in your home.

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