Helena, MO – HELENA A 28-year-old man died from suspected carbon monoxide poisoning Saturday in Helena, authorities said. A few members of his family remain hospitalized due to being exposed to the potentially lethal amount of carbon monoxide.
Kevin Fauntleroy of Helena died Saturday morning, according to Lewis and Clark County Coroner Bryan Backeberg. Fauntleroy was with his family for the holidays.
The cause of death is believed to be carbon monoxide poisoning, Backeberg said. An autopsy will be conducted at a later date.
Fauntleroy and five adult members of his family were taken to the hospital after falling ill. One of the family called for help at about 8:20 a.m. They were all staying at Fauntleroy’s parents’ home on the 1800 block of Eighth Avenue, officials said.
Of the five hospitalized, at least two had been released as of Saturday evening. All are expected to make a full recovery.
The cause of the extremely high level of carbon monoxide is still under investigation. Capt. Vince Williams with the Helena Fire Department said the family became sick after the home was filled with more than 10 times the recommended exposure level of carbon monoxide.
“The absolute No. 1 way to combat this is carbon monoxide detectors,” Williams said.
The home did not contain detectors.
During winter months, Williams said, it is highly recommended to have routine maintenance and inspections performed on heating systems.
“Make sure vent stacks on the roof do not get covered with snow and ice and the installation of carbon monoxide detectors could help avert this type of tragedy.”
Another potential cause of dangerous levels of carbon monoxide is improper insulation, he said.