A significant failure in the heating system of the Parks cabin where an El Mirage family was found dead on Monday was consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning, according to a heating and cooling contractor employed by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
Ponderosa Fire units located the four deceased individuals at 1:43 p.m. on Monday after a sheriff’s deputy conducted a welfare check after a friend of the family was unable to reach them for several days.
They are identified as Anthony and Meaghan Capitano, both 32, Lincoln Capitano, 4, and Kingsley Capitano, 3, all of El Mirage.
El Mirage is located about 25 miles northwest of Phoenix.
The heating system was the only gas appliance in the home and provided additional evidence that carbon monoxide gas had filled the cabin, according to the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office is investigating the incident as a possible carbon monoxide poisoning; however, the cause of death has yet to be determined by the Coconino County Medical Examiner.
The sheriff’s office would like to recommend that people install not only smoke detectors, but also carbon monoxide detectors in your home.
These need to be tested and inspected at the manufacturer’s recommended intervals.
The heating/cooling industry generally recommends that heaters are inspected yearly.
If you have questions regarding your heating/cooling system, you are urged to contact a certified heating/cooling expert to check your system. If you use wood stoves, be sure these also are annually serviced and cleaned.