A Stewart Crossing woman died from carbon monoxide poisoning last month after spending the night in a cabin that did not have proper ventilation systems or smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Margaret Elizabeth Carpenter, 75, was pronounced dead at the scene of her friends’ cabin near Mayo the afternoon of Oct. 26, according to a Nov. 15 press release from the Yukon Coroner’s Service.
According to the press release, Carpenter and her partner were visiting a “recreational cabin” on 17 Mile Road, near Kilometre 21.5 of the Silver Trail Highway, that belonged to their friends from Whitehorse.
The cabin’s owners had arrived at the property on Oct. 23. When Carpenter and her partner arrived to visit on Oct. 25, the owners “were showing signs of illness,” the press release says, and the visitors “decided to stay the night to ensure their wellbeing.”
The next morning, Carpenter’s partner woke up and found her unresponsive, and the cabin’s owners “in need of medical assistance.”
Emergency responders pronounced Carpenter dead at the scene.
An autopsy, including a toxicology screen, confirmed Carpenter died from carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Yukon Fire Marshal’s Office competed a full assessment of the cabin and found five key factors that “may of contributed to altering the atmosphere within the cabin,” the press release says. Those include the cabin having two woodstoves with no fresh air return, as well as a propane stove/oven, 12-volt batteries charging inside and a propane-fueled thermoelectric generator all without ventilation. As well, the cabin “was well insulated and sealed with expanding foam insulation and a thermal door and windows.”
The press release also notes that the cabin did not have either a smoke detection or carbon monoxide detection system.
“Yukon’s Fire Marshall Offices advises that devices that can produce carbon monoxide in our homes – water heaters, furnaces or boilers, fireplaces, both gas and wood burning stoves and ovens – should be inspected annually,” the press release says. “Fuel burning devices that are not approved for indoor use should never be brought into a home, camper, cabin or tent.”
The Yukon Coroner’s Service is continuing its investigation.
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