Mexico Officials: Iowa Family Deaths Linked to Leaky Water Heater

Water Heater Gas Leak Linked to Iowa Family Deaths at Mexico Resort


Click to View Spanish and English Translation of News Release

(Mexico City) —  A southwest Iowa family of four, killed after inhaling toxic gas linked to a faulty water heater inside their rented condo in Mexico, were laid to rest in their hometown over the weekend reports the Creston News Advertiser.


Credit: Facebook Sharp Family of Creston Iowa

Dead are Kevin, 41, Amy, 38, Sterling, 12, and Adrianna Sharp, age 7.

Mexico authorities say autopsies confirmed toxic gas asphyxiation. Police in the Caribbean coast state of Quintana Roo discovered the bodies of the family of four on March 23, after relatives became concerned when they didn’t return to Iowa on their scheduled arrival date, reports the Des Moines Register.

Lead Prosecutor Miguel Angel Pech told reporters that the water heater was leaking “a high level” of toxic gas, “maybe from use or lack of maintenance.” The fuel type was not publicly released pending lab results. Although, it is believed that the fuel type would be natural gas or propane (contains CO in liquid form).

This tragic story illustrates why homeowners and rental property managers should commit to annual maintenance of fuel-burning appliances like water heaters, furnaces, gas fireplaces and ovens. During check ups, a licensed technician cleans, inspects and run diagnostic safety checks to make sure everything is properly working.


Credit: Quintana Roo Prosecutors Office via AP. Firefighter examines a gas stove in the rented condo where an Iowa couple and their two children died in Tulum, Mexico.

Portable CO Monitor for Travel
Secondly, you may want to consider purchasing a portable low-level CO monitor for travel. While this suggestion may seem far-fetched to some, the deaths of the Iowa family of four vacationing at a Mexico condo, might suggest otherwise.

How can travelers be certain that appliances inside their vacation rental in foreign countries and here in the USA have been properly maintained? You cannot.

Consider Buying A Portable CO Monitor
Snell Heating and AC of Gretna, Nebraska suggests the purchase of a portable low-level carbon monoxide monitor that gives real-time digital readings, and sounds an alarm when it detects potentially life threatening CO levels at 35 ppm (parts per million). You can find a low-level CO portable CO monitor at online sites like Amazon.

Disclaimer. (Snell does not endorse the product shown at the link. It is being shared for informational purposes only.)

To learn more about safer CO protection while traveling and at homes, contact Snell Heating and AC. Serving the greater Omaha, Bellevue metro areas.


Next Article –
Why Homeowners Should Install Low-Level CO Monitors

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