Make your own free website on Tripod.com

Go To Latest Update

3 VICTIMS FOUND IN FAIRFAX - WILKINS ROAD -HOME MONDAY AFTERNOON - FEBRUARY 10, 2003

THE FOLLOWING IS THE PROGRESSION OF NEWS REPORTS AS I HEARD THEM

WCAX TV - MONDAY FEBRUARY 10, 2003 - 6 PM

State Police are investigating a possible case of Carbon Monoxide poisoning that has sent 3 people to the hospital. State Police went to this home at 146 Wilkins Road in Fairfax this morning -- after concerned co workers requested a check on their welfare. One of the residents had not gone to work for a couple of days. Police and rescue workers found 3 people--a man, woman and possibly a teenage boy-- unconcious. The 3 people were taken to the hospital in St. Albans. Their names and conditions have not been disclosed by authorities. State Police are investigating and say one of the causes could be carbon monoxide poisoning.

 

WCAX TV - MONDAY - FEBRUARY 10, 2003 - 11 PM

A possible case of carbon monoxide poisoning sent three Fairfax residents to the hospital. State Police made a welfare check at the home after a report that one of the residents hadn't shown up for work. Police found a man, woman and child -- all unconscious. They were taken to the hospital in St. Albans for treatment. Police suspect the residents may have succumbed to high levels of carbon monoxide in the home.

 

WCAX TV - TUESDAY - FEBRUARY 11, 2003 - EARLY MORNING

A possible case of carbon monoxide poisoning sent three Fairfax residents to the hospital. State Police checked this home after a report that one of the residents hadn't shown up for work. Police found a man, woman and child -- all unconscious. They were taken to the hospital in St. Albans for treatment. Police suspect the residents may have succumbed to high levels of carbon monoxide in the home.

 

WCAX TV - TUESDAY - FEBRUARY 11, 2003 - 6 PM

3 people remain in critical condition after they were found with carbon monoxide poisoning in their Fairfax home yesterday afternoon. State Police were called to this home on the Wilkins Road after an employer wondered if something was wrong. No one had heard from the worker for 2 days. When police got into the home--they found a woman, her son, and her companion in bed. ((WE CALLED IN LABOR INDUSTRY AND THEY LOOKED INTO THE 2 THINGS THAT COULD HAVE CAUSED THE CARBON MONOXIDE POISONING--THE WATER HEATER AND THE FURNACE. THEY FOUND THAT THE FURNACE HADN'T BEEN CLEANED IN QUITE A WHILE AND IT WAS PRODUCING HIGH LEVELS OF CARBON MONOXIDE.)) The 3 people--Judy Evans, Her 17 year old son Dan Cross, and companion Ed Covial were all found unconcious IN THEIR BEDS. All 3 are still in critical condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care. Authorities estimate the had been in the home--with the fumes from the faulty furnace --for 60 hours.

 

WCAX TV - TUESDAY - FEBRUARY 11, 2003 - 11 PM

Three Fairfax residents remain hospitalized in critical condition after succumbing to carbon monoxide poisoning in their home. State Police were called to this home on the Wilkins Road after a report that one of the residents hadn't shown up for work for two days. Police found a man, woman and a teenage boy -- all unconscious. State Labor & Industry inspectors found high levels of carbon monoxide coming from the home's furnace.

 

BURLINGTON FREE PRESS - FEBRUARY 12, 2003

Three people injured by carbon monoxide

Three people were in critical condition in a Burlington hospital Tuesday after police and firefighters found them

Unconscious in a Fairfax house that was full of carbon monoxide, said Jim Field, the town's fire chief

Police and fire fighters were summoned to the Wilkins Road home after acquaintances said they hadn't heard from the people who lived in the house, Field said.

Field said he did not have the identities of the victims. A Vermont State Police officer who investigated the poisoning was unavailable Tuesday evening.

A hole in a stovepipe is the likely source of the carbon monoxide, Field said.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas that in large enough quantities can make people sick or kill them.

Field said every home should have a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector. The devices detect problems early, leaving occupants of a building more time to escape, he said.

 

ST. ALBANS MESSENGER - FEBRUARY 12, 2003

Carbon monoxide hospitalizes 3

Victims found in Fairfax home listed as 'critical'

By LEE J. KAHRS

Messenger Staff Writer

FAIRFAX - Three people were found unconscious in their beds from apparent carbon monoxide polsoning here on Monday.

The three Fairfax residents, Eribeto Cobeo, 41, Judy Evans, 45, and Evan's 17 year old son, Danford Cross, remain in critical condition at Fletcher Allen Health Center in Burlington.

State Police were called to 146 Wilkins Road after Cobeo's employer called to report Cobeo had not shown up for work few days. Upon arriving at the home, police found the residents in a catatonlc state. The three vlctims were initially at Northwestern Medical Center in St. Albans, and subsequently transferred to Fletcher Allen.

The possible reasons for the accident vary. Fairfax Fire Chief Jim Fieids said a hole in a stovepipe might have been the source of the carbon monoxide. Police are saying a faulty furnace, which apparently hadn't been cleaned in some time, may also be to blame. The officia1 cause of the accident is still under investigation.

Reports from authorities estimate the residents had been in the carbon monoxide-filled home for up to 60 hours.

Carbon monoxide (CO) is an odorless, colorless gas that, at high levels, can kill a person. CO is produced whenever any fuel, such as gas, oil, kerosene, wood, or charcoal, is burned.

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) web site, symptoms of CO poisoning vary depending on the level of the gas present. Low levels of CO can cause shortness of breath, mild nausea, and mild headaches. At moderate levels, victims will experience severe headaches, dizziness, confusion, nausea or faintness. Since many of these symptoms are similar to those of the flu, food poisoning or other illnesses, those afflicted may not think of CO poisoning as being the cause.

The EPA recommends purchasing a CO detector as a back up, but not as a replacement for, proper use and maintenance of fuel-burning appliances. Thc EPA stresses that the technology of CO detectors is still developing and they are not generally considered as reliable as the some detectors found in homes today.

 

CHANNEL 5 WPTZ NEWS - 11 P.M. - FEBRUARY 12, 2003

Family Gravely Ill From Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

Three People In Critical Condition

POSTED: 10:20 p.m. EST February 12, 2003

BURLINGTON, Vt. -- Carbon monoxide poisoning is a worry this time of year, when your furnace is working overtime. The fact that you can't smell or see carbon monoxide means you may never know you have a problem, until it's too late.

It nearly cost one local family their lives.

After two days in the intensive care unit at Fletcher Allen Health Center, the family was still in critical condition Wednesday night. Ed Cobeo, 41; Judy Evans, 45; and Evans' son Danford Cross Jr., 17, are suffering from severe carbon monoxide poisoning which started at their home sometime Friday night.

A family member told NewsChannel 5 that the situation is grave -- that doctors were planning to conduct tests to determine if one of the family members had any brain activity.

The prognosis for the three is unknown and the family said it was too soon to make any statement.

Vermont State Police Detective Gerald Charboneau said that when Ed Cobeo, who works for Federal Express, didn't show up for either his Saturday or Monday shift, the company sent a driver to his home in Fairfax.

"When the Fed-Ex guy went to the driveway, he saw there was fresh snow on the vehicles," Charboneau said. "There were no tracks -- footprints or tire tracks -- in this fresh snow leading to or from the residence. He went to the door, knocked on it, and there was no response."

The driver called police, who broke into the home and found the family in their downstairs bedrooms -- unconscious, barely alive.

They were rushed to the nearest hospital, then transferred to Fletcher Allen where the standard procedure for carbon monoxide poisoning is to administer pure oxygen -- and hope.

"If patients have severe exposure, that can be catastrophic," said Dr. Peter Weimersheimer, the emergency room attending physician. "They eventually will have damage to their organs, to the heart, to other organs in the body without having rapid treatment." Weimersheimer said that could cause a victim to lose consciousness, have seizures or go into a coma.

Tuesday, state inspectors returned to Fairfax to try to find the cause of the tragedy.

While all furnaces emit some carbon monoxide gas, normal readings nearby by be 10 parts per million. Near the propane furnace in the family's home, the reading was almost 300 parts per million.

Inspectors found no record of the furnace being cleaned since the early 1990s. They also reported seeing corrosion, which had left holes in the exhaust vent, allowing the poison gas to spew into the house.

Messages on the home answering machine helped detectives figure out a timeline. They estimated the family had some 60 hours of exposure before being discovered at 2 p.m. Monday, on the verge of death.

"The cause of it was the furnace," Charboneau said. Asked by NewsChannel 5 if the failure was due to a lack of maintenance, Charboneau said it was.

Since you can't see or smell carbon dioxide, the only way to know if it's in your home is by using a carbon monoxide detector. Labor Department inspectors said the home in Fairfax didn't have one.

 

BURLINGTON FREE PRESS - THURSDAY - FEBRUARY 13, 2003

Experts warn of carbon monoxide danger

By Matt Sutkoski
Free Press Staff Writer

FAIRFAX -- Three people who were poisoned by carbon monoxide Monday in Fairfax remained in critical condition Wednesday evening while safety experts warned of the danger from the gas.

Authorities found Judy Evans, 45; Eribeto Cobeo, 40; and Danford Cross Jr., 17, unconscious Monday at the 146 Wilkins Road home.

The three were discovered after escalating days of worry among Cobeo's co-workers at Federal Express, said Vermont State Police Detective Sgt. Gerald Charboneau of the St. Albans barracks.

Co-workers at Fed-Ex became concerned Saturday when Cobeo did not show up at work. Monday, Cobeo again didn't appear at work, and phone calls to the Fairfax house went unanswered, Charboneau said.

A Fed-Ex employee stopped by the house early Monday afternoon and found parked cars covered with the weekend's snow, no footprints and no answer at the door, Charboneau said.

The employee called police, who went into the house and found the three unconscious. The victims have been hospitalized since.

A few factors probably conspired to sicken the three people in the Fairfax house, said Bob Patterson, regional manager for fire prevention at the Vermont Division of Labor and Industry. Patterson helped investigate the incident.

The propane gas boiler that heated the house hadn't been serviced for several years, he said. That made the boiler run inefficiently and create large amounts of carbon monoxide. The weekend was particularly windy, so the gas likely drafted back down the chimney instead of drifting harmlessly away from the house.

"It probably wasn't continuous. That's why the people survived as long as they did," Patterson said.

The incident underscores the necessity of maintaining heating systems and installing carbon monoxide detectors in homes, Patterson said.

Two incidents of carbon monoxide poisoning in southern Vermont and in Burlington since January show the dangers of the gas, he said. In those cases, people were not seriously injured.

"A lot of people don't want to pay a lot of money to service their appliances and at a minimum provide carbon monoxide detectors," Patterson said.

Patterson recommends a digital detector that shows the exact level of carbon monoxide. He said plug-in detectors are more reliable than those run by batteries. The detector, which costs about $40 to $45, will sound if carbon monoxide levels reach 100 parts per million. Minor symptoms start at about 200 parts per million. A level of 1,000 parts per million will render a person unconscious within an hour, Patterson said.

Victims of minor carbon monoxide poisoning usually recover on their own, especially after being given oxygen, said Dr. Peter Weimersheimer, an emergency room physician at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Minor symptoms resemble the flu or food poisoning. If an entire family comes down with symptoms at the same time, it could be carbon monoxide poisoning.

Victims of severe carbon monoxide poisoning are sometimes placed in hyperbaric chambers. The chambers have an air pressure of three times that of normal outdoor air, helping drive carbon monoxide out of the body. Vermont has no such chambers, Weimersheimer said.

Symptoms are treated and victims are watched carefully, he said. Sometimes, exposure to carbon monoxide can lead to problems with memory and other neurological impairments, he said, but that is not always the case, he added.

"Most people recover completely," Weimersheimer said.
Contact Matt Sutkoski at 660-1846 or msutkosk@bfp.burlingtonfree- press.com

WCAX TV - MONDAY - FEBRUARY 27, 2003 - 6 PM

Fairfax, Vermont - February 27, 2003
A Fairfax man poisoned by carbon monoxide has died. Authorities found three people unconscious in their home earlier this month after one of the residents failed to show up for work.
Hospital officials say 40-year old Eribeto Cobeo died yesterday. The two other residents of the house -- 45-year old Judy Evans and her 17-year old son, Dan Cross -- remain in critical condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care.
Authorities say the home's boiler was apparently running poorly and created large amounts of carbon monoxide. Authorities estimate they had been in the home with the fumes from the faulty furnace for 60 hours.
Tracy Meier - Channel 3 News

BURLINGTON FREE PRESS - FEBRUARY 28, 2003

A 40-year old man died Wednesday, more than two weeks after he and two other people were found unconscious of carbon monoxide poisoning in their Fairfax home.

Eribeto Cobeo had been in critical condition at Fletcher Allen Health Care since Feb. 10. Judy Evans, 45, and Danford Cross, Jr., 17, were still in critical condition Thursday at Fletcher Allen.

Corbeo's co-worker at FedEx found the three vicitims after Cobeo failed to show up for work. They were unconscious and rushed to the hospital.

Police suspect a faulty propane gas boiler leaked large amounts of carbon monoxide into the Fairfax home.

ST. ALBANS MESSENGER - FEBRUARY 28, 2003

Carbon monoxide kills Fairfax man; - 2 others 'critical'

A Fairfax man hospitalized for over two weeks with carbon monoxide poisoning has died.

Hospital officials said Eribeto Cobeo, 41, died Thursday at Fletcher Allen Health Care.

Cobeo was one of three people found unconscious in bed by authorities in Fairfax Feb. 10. The other vicitims, Judy Evans, 45, and her son Danford Cross, 17, remain in critical condition at Fletcher Allen.

State Police were called to 146 Wilkins Road after Cobeo's employer called to report Cobeo had not shown up to work for a few days. Police found the residents in a catatonic state.

Authorities say the boiler and furnace in the house needed cleaning and were running poorly, creating high amounts of carbon monoxide.

Reports estimate the residents had been in the carbon monixide-filled home for up to 60 hours.

WCAX TV - Channel 3 - 6 p.m. Monday, March 3, 2003

A second person has died from a case of carbon monoxide poisoning in Fairfax. Authorities found three people unconscious in their home last month-- after one of the residents failed to show up for work. Hospital officials say 45-year old Judy Evans died this morning. Evan's 17-year old son, Dan Cross remains in critical condition. 40-year old Eribeto Cobeo died last week. Authorities say all three succumbed to carbon monoxide from the home's malfunctioning furnace.

ERIBERTO "ED" COBEO FAIRFAX - Eriberto "Ed" Cobeo, 40, died on Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2003, in Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington after a courageous battle to save his life from carbon monoxide poisoning. He was born in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, NYC on March 31, 1962, son of Hector and Esther (Morales) Cobeo. "Eri" relocated to Vermont and attended Burlington High School, followed by a degree in business administration from Johnson State College. Eriberto was a dedicated employee for Federal Express, the Green Mountain Coffee Division, and was appreciated and loved by his fellow coworkers. "Ed" will be remembered as a loving stepfather and true friend, as well as a devoted mate to Judy M. Evans, who passed away Monday, March 3, 2003. He was a passionate man who loved fishing, cooking, gardening and loved the Green Mountains of Vermont. May God bless his soul and let him rest in peace. He is survived by, Judy Evans' family who Eri lovingly embraced as his extended family; his stepchildren, Julie Cross, and Danford James "DJ" Cross; his father, Hector Cobeo and his wife Bertha; two brothers, Hector Cobeo and his wife Beatriz, and Wilfredo Cobeo and his wife Enid; two sisters, Maybeline Cobeo and Nilsa Garrett and her husband Lawrence; and several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his mother, Esther (Morales) Cobeo in October of 1981. Visiting hours for both Eriberto and Judy will be held at the Hayes-Rich Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 5, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. The Rev. John Feltz will offer a wake service at 3:45 p.m. in the funeral home. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 6, at 11 a.m. in the United Church of Fairfax with the Rev. Elizabeth Griffin officiating. Interment will follow in the family lot in Mount Calvary Cemetery, St. Albans. Memorial contributions may be made to a trust fund to benefit DJ and Julie, c/o Peoples Trust Co., 26 Kingman St., St. Albans, Vt. 05478, Attn. Trust Dept. Friends who wish may forward on-line condolences by visiting www.hayesrichfun eralhome.com. Arrangements are by the Hayes-Rich Funeral Home, 1176 Main St., Fairfax.

 

JUDY MAUDE EVANS FAIRFAX - Judy Maude Evans, 45, died on Monday, March 3, 2003, in Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington after a courageous battle to save her life from carbon monoxide poisoning. She was born on Jan. 7, 1958, in St. Albans, the seventh child born to Roswell Evans Sr. and the late Clara (Rock) Evans. Judy worked in the cleaning business for many years. She was a dedicated employee of the Fairfield Inn and Suites. Most recently she was doing commercial and private housekeeping. Over the years Judy cooked for many. People would come from far and wide just to fill up on one of her fantastic meals. Judy loved to be at home in the kitchen with the love of her life, Eriberto. Together they made their house a home with Judy's two children Julie and D.J. She is survived by her father, Roswell Evans Sr. and his wife, Doris, of St. Albans; her daughter, Julie Cross and her fiance, Chris Goldenstein, of Fairfax; her son, Danford "DJ" Cross Jr. of Fairfax; six brothers, Roswell Evans Jr. of Columbia, S.C., Michael Evans and his wife, Bonnie, of Swanton, Homer Evans of St. Albans Bay, David Evans and his wife, Kathleen, of St. Albans, Thomas Evans and his wife, Francine, of Gardiner, Maine, and Gary Evans and his wife, Jan, of East Hartford, Conn.; one sister, Sarah Evans of Monument, Colo.; 19 nieces and nephews; several great-nieces and great-nephews; and many friends. She also leaves Eriberto Cobeo's family who opened their arms to Judy and made her feel so loved. Special loving friends Judy leaves behind are Tim and Julia Ashline, and Emily Hinsdale. She was also predeceased by her mother, Clara Evans, in May of 2000; and by her fiance, the love of her life, Eriberto "Ed" Cobeo on February 26, 2003. Visiting hours for both Judy and Eriberto will be held at the Hayes-Rich Funeral Home on Wednesday, March 5, from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. The Rev. John Feltz will offer a wake service at 3:45 p.m. in the funeral home. Funeral services will be held on Thursday, March 6, at 11 a.m. in the United Church of Fairfax with the Rev. Elizabeth Griffin officiating. Interment will follow in the family lot in Mount Calvary Cemetery, St. Albans. Memorial contributions may be made to a trust fund to benefit DJ and Julie, c/o Peoples Trust Co., 26 Kingman St., St. Albans, Vt. 05478, Attn. Trust Dept.. Friends who wish may forward on-line condolences by visiting www.hayesrichfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are by the Hayes-Rich Funeral Home, 1176 Main St., Fairfax.

 

Poison victim makes progress
(St. Albans Messenger - Thursday, March 6, 2003)

Officials at Fletcher Allen Healthcare have upgraded the condition of the remaining carbon monoxide poisoning patient, Danford Cross, 17, from critical to serious.

Cross is one of three people found unconscious by authorities in a Fairfax home Feb. 10th.

Two other family members in the home at the time have died while in intensive care at Fletcher Allen as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. Cross' mother, Judy Evans, 45, died on March 3. Her companion, Eribeto "Ed" Cobeo, 41, died on February 27. Their funerals were to be held today.

State Police were called to 146 Wilkins Road after Cobeo's employer reported he had not shown up for work for a few days. Upon arriving at the home, police found the three residents unconscious in their beds.

Investigators say the gas boiler in the house needed cleaning and had been running poorly, creating high amounts of carbon monoxide.

It was estimated the residents had been in the carbon monoxide-filled home for up to 60 hours.

Carbon monoxide survivor improving, his sister says

By Matt Sutkoski
Burlington Free Press Staff Writer

Julie Cross said Tuesday that she will return to the Fairfax house where she grew up, look after her ailing brother, and try to recover from the loss of her mother and stepfather.

It was in that Wilkins Road house on a chilly February weekend that the boiler malfunctioned, spreading toxic carbon monoxide throughout the house

Rescuers found Cross' brother, Danford Cross Jr., 17; her mother, Judy Evans, 45; and stepfather, Eribeto Cobeo, 40, unconscious in the house Feb. 10 after being exposed to the gas for at least two days.

Evans and Cobeo died in the following weeks. Danford Cross, who was initially in a coma, gradually came to in weeks after he was found, his sister said. He is recovering in a Fletcher Allen Health Care rehabilitation unit, his sister said Tuesday.

"D.J. is doing very well. He has a chance to go to a full recovery," said Cross, 20.

Family members grieved privately for Evans and Cobeo and are rallying around Danford Cross. Julie Cross decided to make a public statement Tuesday to report the good news about her brother, to thank the community for its support, and to warn the public about carbon monoxide's dangers.

Once her brother is out of rehabilitation, Julie Cross said she and her fiance will move with him into their Fairfax house, where the carbon monoxide caused the family tragedy.

"It doesn't bother me. My mom created a home for us. It's where we grew up. My mom worked her ass off for that house," Julie Cross said.

Her mother worked for Fairfield Inn in Colchester and cleaned many private homes. Cobeo worked for Federal Express.

Julie Cross said she will transfer out of Western State College of Colorado, return to Vermont with her fiance, enroll at Johnson State College and look after her brother.

He's up and walking now, talking, eating, getting his bearings, trying to overcome some short-term memory problems, Julie Cross said. "He has a brain injury. We don't know how bad it is."

Cross said her brother is not ready to publicly discuss the carbon monoxide poisoning.

Danford Cross' recovery has been astounding, she said. "He's basically just a miracle," Julie Cross said. "I think he had two angels instead of one."

The two siblings have been talking about the future, about his returning to high school and attending college.

Cross said her brother is an avid outdoorsman who enjoys hiking and camping. "He just loves the outdoors. He loves the mountains," she said.

At the time of the accident, he was working at Smugglers Notch and getting good grades at Bellows Free Academy in Fairfax. "He's really outgoing," Cross said.

Cross said she is thankful for the support from the community, which has showered the family with favors, food and thoughts. The Fletcher Allen staff has been extremely professional and compassionate, she said.

She still doesn't know what went wrong in the family house that weekend in February. There was no warning of impending trouble, but for some reason, the boiler malfunctioned and spread the toxic gas through the home, she said.

While looking into the cause of the incident, investigators found a buildup of an oxide on the boiler's heating core, said Bob Patterson, regional manager for fire prevention at the Vermont Division of Labor and Industry.

Patterson said Tuesday the boiler had not been serviced in some time. An unserviced boiler could mean fuel might not burn efficiently, potentially creating a carbon monoxide danger, Patterson said.

Until the incident, Julie Cross said she never thought much about carbon monoxide. Now, she said, she tells people she knows to make sure they have a working carbon monoxide detector.
Contact Matt Sutkoski at 660-1846 or msutkosk@bfp.burlingtonfreepress.com

 

Latest Update Above