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CA: 2 people, 2 cats found dead in Berkeley apartment; carbon monoxide poisoning confirmed

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  • CA: 2 people, 2 cats found dead in Berkeley apartment; carbon monoxide poisoning confirmed

    http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/01/...cause-unknown/
    2 people, 2 cats found dead in Berkeley apartment; cause unknown

    By Emilie Raguso Jan. 23, 2017, 3:53 p.m. Berkeley police and firefighters are on the scene at 3028 Deakin St. to investigate the mysterious deaths of two people and two cats.
    The block has been closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic due to the ongoing investigation, Berkeley Police spokesman Officer Byron White said at about 3:40 p.m.
    ...
    “We don’t know what the cause is,” he said. “It’s nothing apparent at this point.”
    The hazmat team and PG&E were called to the scene to measure for any type of hazmat in the air, but have so far found nothing, White said...
    Last edited by Emily; February 16th, 2017, 05:16 PM. Reason: Added tags
    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

  • #2
    MYSTERIOUS DEATH
    NO SIGNS OF TRAUMA IN DEATHS OF 2 PEOPLE, 2 CATS IN BERKELEY


    by Katie Utehs
    Monday, January 23, 2017 11:20PM

    BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) -- Berkeley police are confirming that carbon monoxide poisoning does not appear to be the cause of the deaths of two people and two cats inside a Berkeley apartment on Deakin Street.
    ...
    Police say there are no obvious signs of trauma, adding to the mystery.
    ...
    Police feared a carbon monoxide leak, but hazmat crews gave it the all clear.

    "All we know is that it's safe to go back in," said White. "It's not a gas leak."
    ...

    http://abc7news.com/news/no-signs-of...keley/1717713/
    "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
    -Nelson Mandela

    Comment


    • #3
      http://kron4.com/2017/01/24/couple-f...ath-a-mystery/
      Couple, 2 cats found dead in Berkeley home, cause of death a mystery By KRON 4 Staff Published: January 24, 2017, 2:19 pm Updated: January 24, 2017, 10:14 pm

      ...
      Over the past year, neighbors filed several complaints of a “burning rubber” smell coming from the couple’s apartment. They believe the smell comes from some sort of generator in the apartment, but authorities did not confirm that to be true...
      One victim was a game developer and the other a postdoctoral research fellow at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco. Both had attended MIT. I doubt people this educated were running a generator in a apartment. Sometimes its difficult to source an odor. There are little unvented gas heaters available that might use up your oxygen in a small space and suffocate you that way, but if something like that were in the apartment I would think it would be a suspect.
      This could still end up being a case of CO poisoning, maybe from a water heater or stove. They said it could take weeks for the autopsies to be concluded. The CO could have been ventilated by the time first responders got there. There was a comment to the first article posted that hinted that a CO detector had been alarming earlier:

      "I feel terrible. I just read this news. We live on Fulton Street in the property behind this apartment complex. I heard a beeping sound in the morning, and went to check the cottage behind my house to make sure all was well, but the sound wasn’t coming from there. I couldn’t really tell where it was coming from–but it didn’t occur to me to call the police or take any action. I’m heartsick. I’m so sorry this happened…"
      Whatever happened, it is a good time to remind everyone that CO detectors may not alarm until after you are incapacitated since the algorithms try to (too hard?) avoid false alarms that tie up gas company and fire department resources. I have a CO detector with a digital readout that keeps a record of the last "peak level" reading. You have to press a button to see it. If there is a peak level above zero and you can't explain it, you can have a gas plumber or HVAC technician test the vents of all of your combustion devices, etc, to see what CO levels are at those sources. Someone reported that they found their gas stove was venting 3000ppm after doing this. They had recently replaced the burner unit with a name brand but non-OEM unit.

      It might be good to have a regular routine for checking peak levels of CO monitors and also check them whenever a family member is sick, including pets. They say CO is like tuberculosis - another great pretender that can mimic the symptoms of many other illnesses.
      Last edited by Emily; January 26th, 2017, 02:23 AM.
      “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

      Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

      Comment


      • #4
        http://www.eastbaytimes.com/2017/01/...couples-death/
        Berkeley: Toxicology tests ordered in couple’s deaths

        By Harry Harris | hharris@bayareanewsgroup.com |
        PUBLISHED: January 25, 2017 at 2:06 pm | UPDATED: January 25, 2017 at 5:30 pm


        BERKELEY — Autopsies on a married couple found dead inside their South Berkeley home Monday have not determined an obvious cause of death and the final finding has been deferred pending the results of toxicology tests, authorities said Wednesday.
        The Alameda County Coroner’s Office also has the couple’s two dead cats, but police did not know if necropsies are planned on the animals...
        “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

        Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

        Comment


        • #5
          Deakin Street deaths: Autopsies complete but cause still unknown

          By Emilie Raguso
          Jan. 26, 2017, 11:42 a.m.

          Authorities still have no information as to the reason a young Berkeley couple and their cats died this past week in their home on Deakin Street.
          ...
          A representative from the coroner’s office said Thursday that BPD has a press hold on the case, so no information could be released to the public.
          ...
          http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/01/...still-unknown/
          "Safety and security don't just happen, they are the result of collective consensus and public investment. We owe our children, the most vulnerable citizens in our society, a life free of violence and fear."
          -Nelson Mandela

          Comment


          • #6
            http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/201...rkeley-couple/
            Source: Carbon Monoxide Poisoning Killed Berkeley Couple

            January 27, 2017 2:15 PM
            BERKELEY (CBS SF) – A couple found dead in their Berkeley home under mysterious circumstances earlier this week was killed by carbon monoxide poisoning, a law enforcement source told KPIX 5 Friday.
            ...
            The source said that the couple was using a laser 3-D printer that was venting into their residence. Symptoms and signs consistent with carbon monoxide poisoning were found in their bodies...

            Warning about home/office use 3 years ago:

            http://www.itpro.co.uk/printers/2029...-risks-flagged
            Poor ventilation could lead to serious health issues, even death, claim researchers.

            Jane McCallion 29 Jul, 2013


            ...
            However, researchers from the Illinois Institute of Technology in Chicago (Illinois Tech) and the Institut National des Sciences Appliquées in Lyon (INSA de Lyon) have warned that the use of commercial 3D printers in the home and office, rather than in an industrial setting, could present serious health problems for those around them.
            ... Most desktop 3D printers use either acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) or polylactic acid (PLA) as a thermoplastic feedstock.
            The paper cites previous research which has shown that when used in industry, heating these plastics and using them in a nozzle produces particles and toxic gasses, including carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen cyanide (cyanide).
            Other, less commonly used plastics, such as PVA, PC and HDPE have also been shown to produce toxic emissions...
            Source: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science...52231013005086

            The machine might have jammed and built up toxic fumes in the chamber and then there was a sudden strong exposure when the machine was opened to fix the jam:

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4917922/
            Yi J, LeBouf RF, Duling MG, et al. Emission of particulate matter from a desktop three-dimensional (3D) printer. Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health Part a. 2016;79(11):453-465. doi:10.1080/15287394.2016.1166467.
            Conclusions

            Desktop 3D printers might emit high numbers of ultrafine and fine particles during operation. Emissions are influenced by the consumables, including filament type and color, as well as by the printer design characteristics. Exposure to high concentrations of UFP particles emitted from laser printers has been associated with increased risk in mortality frequency, but whether such risks apply to emissions from 3D printers is yet to be elucidated. Based upon our data, evidence indicates that it is prudent to recommend the following precautions to reduce exposures in non-industrial workplaces as well as public locations such as in libraries or universities and private homes: (1) Always use the manufacturer’s supplied controls (full enclosure appears more effective at controlling UFP emissions than a cover); (2) use the printer in a well-ventilated place, and/or directly ventilate the printer; (3) maintain a distance from the printer to minimize breathing in emitted particles and choose a low-emitting printer and filament when possible; (4) if the printer nozzle jams, turn off the printer and allow it to ventilate before removing the cover; and (5) utilize the industrial hygiene hierarchy of controls to mitigate exposures (from most to least preferable): engineering > administrative > protective equipment (e.g., respirators).
            There is a video at the link below with an interview with the neighbor of the victims.

            http://www.ktvu.com/news/231486093-story

            She said she complained and called police many times about fumes and noise coming through her bedroom wall that was adjacent to the victims' apartment. She was the canary in the coalmine that nobody paid attention to. By the time the police would show up, the machine wasn't running anymore. I think the fire department should have been dispatched as an emergency call and then maybe they would have picked up the toxicity of the emissions.

            I hope landlords prohibit these machines from use in apartments, and probably the CO2 laser etching machines, too. There was one of those in the apartment apparently. The design of the 3D printer that caused these 4 sudden deaths must be especially flawed and probably is not safe to use in any home or office setting.
            “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

            Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

            Comment


            • #7
              Maybe the evacuations should be mandatory and include pets.

              ETA: I watched the video and it said that if the evacuation is not mandatory, neither the police department nor the building owner is liable for paying hotel costs. They are playing with people's lives.

              http://abc7news.com/news/optional-ev...-dead/1734909/
              Police order optional evacuations to test where Berkeley couple mysteriously died

              By Lisa Amin Gulezian
              Friday, February 03, 2017 01:18AM
              BERKELEY, Calif. (KGO) --
              The mysterious case of Valerie and Roger Morash in Berkeley still does not have a clear conclusion.

              The Berkeley couple was found dead inside their apartment along with their two cats last month. A detective in charge of the case is ordering an evacuation from 6 p.m. Friday to 6 p.m. Saturday, some residents are struggling with the fact that it's not a mandatory evacuation, but a highly recommended one.

              Residents in a Berkeley fourplex are anxious Thursday night, wondering what to do after receiving an email from building management saying police plan to run the heater in unit 4, where the bodies of Roger and Valerie Morash and their two cats were found.

              A detective also wants all tenants to turn their heaters on, nonstop and "highly recommends that you stay out of your apartment for this 24 hour period."...
              Last edited by Emily; February 4th, 2017, 03:08 AM.
              “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

              Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

              Comment


              • #8
                The test was called off for now.

                http://www.ktvu.com/news/233660049-story
                Posted:Feb 03 2017 07:04PM PST
                Updated:Feb 03 2017 07:04PM PST

                BERKELEY, Calif. (KTVU)

                ...

                Investigators had planned further testing and inspections at Unit-4 of the complex the couple lived in and an evacuation for the building's residents was being arranged for Friday, but was canceled. No mandatory evacuation was called. The voluntary evacuation was supposed to take place from 6 p.m. Friday until 6 p.m. Saturday.
                “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

                Comment


                • #9
                  http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/i...ment-via-Nixle
                  Press Release: Deakin Street deaths caused by carbon monoxide

                  From the Berkeley Police Department via Nixle
                  Friday February 03, 2017 - 06:38:00 PM


                  The Berkeley Police Department confirms the death of Roger and Valerie Morash was caused by acute carbon monoxide intoxication and believe their deaths was a tragic accident.
                  It took some time to determine the cause – autopsy findings, toxicology reports, necropsy, and other tests – however; our goal was to provide the family of the decedents with the most accurate answers regarding the death of their loved ones. During the course of the investigation Berkeley police investigators collected various items within the apartment to test for toxins. The State of California Public Health Department determined none were present. Necropsy examinations were performed on the couple’s two cats. Results determined the cause of death was carbon monoxide.
                  Investigators are still trying to identify the specific source of the carbon monoxide. Out of an abundance of caution, investigators reached out to the landlord to coordinate tests and inspections for Unit-4. In order to conduct the tests in the safest manner possible, investigators wanted to arrange for the building to be unoccupied. Investigators did not order anyone to evacuate their apartments. The proposed tests have been cancelled while the Department works through the residents’ concerns. Investigators are focused on trying to determine the source of the carbon monoxide in order to provide peace of mind to the families and residents of the building.
                  The Berkeley Police Department extends our deepest condolences to the family and friends of Roger and Valerie Morash.
                  We would like to thank the Alameda County Coroner’s Bureau, the State of California Public Health Department-Microbial Diseases and Pathogen Section, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, the Berkeley City Animal Care Services, and the Berkeley Fire Department for their assistance in this investigation.
                  “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                  Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I don't have the link handy now, but one of the residents who lives in the apartment building where the Morash family died said she had made reservations at a hotel for her and her cat. They wouldn't give her a refund when the test was cancelled so she lost over $200.00 and they still don't know the source of the CO gas.

                    Now there are two more suspicious deaths only a mile from where the Morash family died:

                    http://www.berkeleydailyplanet.com/i...h-Burbank-BCN-
                    Extra

                    Updated: Two found dead this morning in Berkeley apartment

                    Keith Burbank (BCN)
                    Saturday February 11, 2017 - 11:45:00 PM


                    UPDATED: ABC News has reported that the two people were found dead late Saturday morning, apparently from carbon monoxide poisoning, in a Berkeley apartment were lifelong Berkeley residents, Dora Bibbs, 89, and her companion Gary White, 56.
                    ...
                    UPDATE, Sunday, Feb. 12: According to Berkeley Police Lieutenant Rateaver, there were no external wounds on the victims, which seems to rule out gunshot or stabbing, so in that respect the case seems similar to the previous one. Toxicology investigation is underway, but is not expected to be completed for a day or two.
                    “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                    Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/02/...rt-inspection/
                      Apartment where couple, cats died ‘red-tagged’ pending expert inspection

                      By Emilie Raguso Feb. 28, 2017, 9 a.m.

                      ...
                      Now, the property owner is required to have a mechanical engineer, or a mechanical contractor licensed in California, inspect the unit and evaluate it to determine what sort of unsafe conditions might have contributed to the presence of carbon monoxide.
                      “Nobody is allowed to occupy that unit until the city gets this report,” Chakko said. “There are still questions about the unit.”
                      The city had PG&E and the Berkeley Fire Department conduct multiple tests in the Morash’s unit, but the results were inconclusive. The tests took place on more than one occasion...
                      “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                      Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        http://www.sfchronicle.com/bayarea/a...e-11077092.php
                        Berkeley couple’s mysterious deaths raise public health fears

                        By Kimberly Veklerov
                        April 17, 2017 Updated: April 17, 2017 10:14am No one knows how a young Berkeley couple and their two cats were fatally poisoned with carbon monoxide during a storm one night in January.
                        Medical examiners concluded that the noxious gas accidentally caused the deaths of Roger Hanna Morash, 35, and Valerie Morash, 32, after finding high levels of carboxyhemoglobin in their blood. Veterinarians determined their cats, Minsky and Malloc, suffered the same fate.

                        But three months, one lawsuit and a procession of experts later, the source of the carbon monoxide remains a mystery. Toxicology professionals say that’s not just bizarre, but a possible danger to public health...
                        http://www.berkeleyside.com/2017/04/...rkeley-couple/
                        Still a mystery: Inspection finds no answers in deaths of Berkeley couple

                        By Emilie Raguso April 20, 2017, 9:30 a.m.


                        ...
                        A mechanical engineer who ran a battery of tests in a South Berkeley apartment on Deakin Street found no apparent cause for the carbon monoxide poisoning that killed a couple and their cats there in January, according to a report released Wednesday by the city.
                        “I am not recommending occupancy of Unit 4 as we still do not know the source of the carbon monoxide intrusion,” licensed engineer Michael Wintheiser told the city in a March 28 email that became available this week. His testing, inspection and document review identified no source of carbon monoxide, or any unsafe conditions that might have contributed to it. Wintheiser said the couple’s laser cutter, which has been in police custody since January, should now be tested because it has been identified as a potential source of toxic gas...
                        “‘i love myself.’ the quietest. simplest. most powerful. revolution ever.” ---- nayyirah waheed

                        Avatar: Franz Marc, Liegender Hund im Schnee 1911 (My posts are not intended as advice or professional assessments of any kind.)

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