BC Safety Authority reveals source of fatal carbon monoxide poisoning

By James Peters
April 10, 2017 - 3:30pm

ASHCROFT, B.C. — The BC Safety Authority says an improperly-vented water heater was the cause of carbon monoxide buildup that killed a family of four near Ashcroft last month.

Harvey Volaine, his wife Melissa Penner, and their two boys Kaylex and Ay, were found dead in their Venables Valley home March 24.

RCMP responding to a well-being check request discovered the bodies, and called the Safety Authority to help investigate.

According to a report released today, investigators found the family's tankless water heater venting directly into the home.

Upon returning from a vacation, the family found a frozen kitchen sink drain, and ran their hot water continuously in an effort to clear it.

The investigator reported that extended use of the water heater likely led to a buildup of carbon monoxide in the home, killing the family.

As a result of the investigation, the Safety Authority reminds homeowners to have licensed contractors perform any gas work, and to ensure carbon monoxide detectors are installed on each floor of your home.

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