Source: carbon monoxide identified in deaths of California couple, cats

Well, the article title mentions dead cats.


I think that cyanide symptoms would generally be similar to CO wouldn’t it?

1 Like

Some what. Headache, fatigue, confusion. But cyanide apparently causes giddyness, seizures and a bunch of other shit that CO won’t. And kills a lot faster.

Symptoms wouldn’t really matter here, for identifying what happened. As they were found dead the symptoms were already over. And I think you’re looking at very different effects on the body. At the very least cyanide will crop up a toxicology report.


Not to make light of their deaths, but people die from CO all the time, only this time there’s some new-fangled gizmo-gadget there the police can raise an eyebrow at and say “ah-HA!”

They look like a nice couple, and that’s a beautiful cat.

So it goes.


This couple lived very close to us. Tragic. Hopefully maker movements that involve a laser cutter will step up their safety and guidelines around this danger.


I mean, the average is 430 deaths a year - at least in the US. You’re still far more likely to die from falling down stairs.

And this is why you have carbon-monoxide alarms on every floor.


When messing about with stuff, you always have to consider things like fumes and where they go. I was watching a video recently with a really nice portable wood camping stove for heating a tent. Really nice except that he’d used galvanized ductwork to make it. Hopefully all the comments about that made him rethink that before using it again.


Sounds more like you nearly blew up from uncombusted gas. It’s actually not that easy to get CO out of a stove. CO comes from incomplete combustion, and stoves do a damn fine job of burning it all.


Does this mean we’re neighbors, Jeff? I’m over by Ashby and San Pablo…


Sadly, both of the couple’s two cats (Minsky and Malloc) were also found dead in the house…


Yes we are. High five :hand_splayed: I am in El Cerrito a few blocks from El Cerrito Plaza BART station.


Providing they’re vented and maintained well. And the right type of stove, obv. And gas ovens aren’t meant to be used as heaters either.

Stuff like CO poisoning usually hits the poor and elderly, due to a lack of maintenance, poorly done repairs and doing things like using camping stoves or outdoor heaters indoors, when electricity is too expensive to run for too long and it’s cold. Couple a few doors down from me in one place I was at died from a dodgy water heater repair job. Fucking joys of cheap living. :frowning2:

But not taking anything away from this. Sounds like this was a source of CO that wasn’t usually considered a risk, so there’s things to be learned. CO-only detectors are about $20, so cheap enough to put one up in the same room as your laser cutter.


I might sound like an old crumudgeon, but there are SO many video blogs, instructables, and how-to’s that I see that have little to no focus or recognition on some of the hazards encountered by combustion and chemical reactions.

This was a tragic example of creative smart people getting a little ahead of themselves with novel manufacturing techniques. Those in the know, know. Those that don’t, mostly get away lucky, except when they don’t.

I work in an industry where we also track the “near miss” in industrial accidents, and the iceberg of near misses isn’t always acknowledged by those outside of the safety program.


I hate to point it out but updated news stories say the laser cutter wasn’t even on so we don’t know what poisoned them yet. For all we know, their furnace had a crack.


Sadly “a broken stove/furnace/dryer kills somebody with toxic gas” is in the “dog bites man” category of news. It happens daily, but you don’t hear about it. If you have a gas appliance in your house, not having working smoke and CO detectors is taking needless risks.

If you don’t have a wired detector, or if you rent, note that you can buy detectors with lithium batteries, where the battery won’t expire before the detector itself expires. Always get that kind.


Yeah, it could be any normal for some reason this feels like the beginning script to a CSI episode. At first glance it’s their laser cutter, but further analysis turns up it was the cat manufacturing meth in his litter box and the couple trying to get payback for stealing their customer base, when it all went tragically wrong.

Not to make fun of something that is grim, sad, and probably avoidable…


Carbon Monoxide locks the haemoglobin in your blood so it can’t do it’s job, transport oxygen around the body, you can be too far gone before you know it and without access to a specilist ICU you’re screwed.


Mother Hubbard! :open_mouth:


As will CO- carboxyhemoglobin persists in the blood, and can be tested for.