Authorities say carbon monoxide poisoning is likely what killed a Michigan couple and their four children over the weekend. The family of six was discovered inside their Fenton Township home Sunday, Feb. 21.
Genesee County, Mich., Sheriff Robert Pickell told WNEM that Leonard and Heather Quasarano and their children Luke, 11, Brenden, 9, Rachel, 7, and Grant, 2 were discovered unresponsive inside their home by concerned grandparents who gained entry through the back door.
The Sheriff told WNEM that the Quasarano family attended a movie night at their church Friday evening. When they returned home around 9:30 p.m. they discovered high winds has caused a power outage in their neighborhood, including their home. Mr. Quasarano told neighbors that he was going to buy a generator and hook it up to power the house.
A receipt confirms that Mr. Quasarano bought a generator at a local hardware store just after 10 p.m. Friday. Mr. Quasaran’s body was found next to the fuel-powered generator in the family room on the lower level of the house.
WNEM reported that Mrs. Quasarano’s body was found with the youngest child in the child’s bedroom and that the other children were found in various other locations throughout the house.
Autopsies were being performed but authorities said it looks like the deaths were a tragic accident. No carbon monoxide detectors were installed in the home.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission says that 170 people die from non-automotive carbon monoxide poisoning on average every year in the U.S. Furnaces, ranges, water heaters, space heaters, and engine-powered equipment, including portable generators, fireplaces, and charcoal are the most common culprits in carbon monoxide death.
Additionally, the U.S, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that several thousand people in the U.S. go to the hospital every year to be treated for CO poisoning, which can cause headache, fatigue, shortness of breath, nausea, dizziness, confusion, vomiting, loss of muscular coordination, loss of consciousness, and death.