Three children and two adults were found dead in a remote Pennsylvania cabin Saturday morning after the children’s mother left to attend a party. Carbon monoxide poisoning was named as the cause of death.
According to the Williamsburg Sun-Gazette, the man who hosted the cabin party found the bodies around noon Saturday after sleeping outside his truck that night.
The adults were identified as 23-year-old Jacqueline Stackhouse and 30-year-old Nathan Reece, and the children as Nariah Hawkins, 8; Cadee Hawkins, 4; and Austin Cousins, 3.
State Police Capt. David Young said the deadly carbon monoxide leaked out from a propane heater. The 10-by-16 foot cabin was not properly ventilated, authorities said, leading to “toxic levels” of the gas in the victims’ blood.
“It was a hysterical scene, especially for the parents of some of the victims,” Young described of the tragic scene that unfolded Saturday after the man who hosted the party found the bodies.
There is no suspicion of foul play, but authorities are still investigating.
The Washington Township fire department issued a warning about using propane heaters.
“If you’re going to use one, make sure it’s in a ventilated room. Crack a window or something,” Chief Brett Ulrich told WNEP.
Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that can only be detected by a carbon monoxide alarm and often kills victims in their sleep. The Center for Disease Control advises proper ventilation practices for home appliances.
“It really hit home. It’s just terrible and it really hit home,” Ulrich said.