Authorities said in a statement that they believe a recently installed water heater that was leaking gas at high levels is to blame. Gabe Reitter III, his wife Jennifer, their children Gabe IV and Grace, and the family’s three dogs all perished.
Police found them dead after responding to their home for a welfare check. The four were all found in separate rooms.
According to sources, the last time the family was contacted was on the evening of April 29, when all of them complained of being unwell. Grace’s school was notified that she would not be attending due to illness.
The official cause of death, according to a preliminary report by the Montgomery County Coroner, has been listed as carbon monoxide saturation, though that could be amended to carbon monoxide intoxication after further testing.
Police say that the family’s property did not have carbon monoxide readers, and that testing of the home showed that the carbon monoxide readings were between 999 and 1200 parts per million.
For reference, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) say people can begin to experience symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning at around 70 parts per million, while disorientation, loss of consciousness, and death are possible at levels of around 150 to 200 parts per million.
The statement issued by the police says that investigators discovered the exhaust pipe on top of the recently installed hot water heater was dislodged. The instillation was completed by Reitter and a friend on December 15, 2018.
According to UPSC, 170 people die on average in the U.S. every year from carbon monoxide poisoning produced by non-automotive consumer products. The gas is colorless, odorless, and highly poisonous, and so people should always have alarms fitted within their homes.
We’re sending all our prayers to the friends and relatives of the Reitter family.
In the meantime, share this article to help us spread a warning over the danger of carbon monoxide within the home.