Probe into Aspen deaths focuses on carbon monoxide detection
December 2, 2008
ASPEN ” Authorities continued Tuesday to investigate the deaths of four people in a home near Aspen, focusing on whether the home complied with Pitkin County’s requirements for a carbon monoxide detector.
Carbon monoxide leaked into the home at 10 Popcorn Lane, about four miles east of town, where Parker and Caroline Lofgren and their children, Owen and Sophie, died. The deaths occurred Thursday, Nov. 27, according to a press release issued late Tuesday afternoon by the Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department.
Investigators are examining the snowmelt and heating vents that leaked the deadly, odorless gas into the residence, the press release said.
The county building code requires homes to have one carbon monoxide detector, but the code is not specific as to the detector’s location in the residence, according to the sheriff’s office. Investigators have not yet determined whether the home was in compliance with the requirement, the press release said.
The home is located in unincorporated Pitkin County. Both the city of Aspen and the county require carbon monoxide monitors in new construction projects, the city noted in a separate press release, also issued late Tuesday afternoon. However, said the city, “the regulation is fairly nonspecific in terms of placement in a home or building. For example, the monitor could simply be placed in the garage.”
New regulations in the 2009 International Building code will likely be more specific and comprehensive, said the city. Both the city and county will look to include a more specific policy in their codes, the city press release said.
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For more on the ongoing investigation into last week’s deaths, see Wednesday’s Aspen Times.