Carbon monoxide deaths: Family 'unconscious in minutes'

Tremarle Home Park
Image caption The three family members were found dead in their mobile home

Three family members who died from carbon monoxide poisoning would have been "unconscious within minutes", a fire service has said.

The bodies of John Cook, 90, his wife Audrey, 86, and their 46-year-old daughter Maureen were discovered in Cornwall on Saturday.

Carbon monoxide levels at the property in Tremarle Home Park, North Roskear, Camborne, were "extremely high".

An inquiry is under way. The deaths are not being treated as suspicious.

Devon and Cornwall Police said initial examinations showed they had died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

The bodies were found after a worried carer called the emergency services.

Mark Pratten, crew manager in prevention with Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service, said: "Carbon monoxide was at an extremely high level.

"A significant dose such as this would have been fatal.

"The investigation is continuing, but it would appear that the people inside the home would have slipped into unconsciousness within a few minutes."

He said if carbon monoxide poisoning was responsible, the Cooks would have died "very swiftly" after falling unconscious.

'Lovely people'

Floral tributes have been left by the family's gate.

One bouquet read: "Why did this happen to lovely people like you?"

Neighbour, Sue Issacs, 58, said: "Everyone here is in total shock. You never think that something like this would happen on your own doorstep.

"John, Audrey and Maureen were lovely people. It's so upsetting to think that three members of the same family have been wiped out in one go."

The deaths came less than a fortnight after an elderly woman died of suspected carbon monoxide poisoning at her home in St Ives, west Cornwall.

Carbon monoxide is a colourless, odourless gas produced by the burning of fuels, including gas, oil, wood and coal. Inhaling it reduces the blood's ability to carry oxygen and can be fatal.

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