Two men and a woman were found dead in a house on Belvin Rd., just off Chestnut Hill Rd., Friday night and authorities believe the trio died from fumes coming from a propane heater that was unvented.
Cumberland County Sheriff Casey Cox confirmed the deaths and ongoing investigation. The bodies were transported to the Tennessee Medical Examiner’s Office in Nashville for autopsies and to establish positive identities.
Until that is done and next of kin have been notified, the identity of the trio is being withheld. It is believed all three are Cumberland County residents and at least two of the three were related.
As of Monday, Cox said his investigators have still not heard from the state medical examiner on confirmation on cause of death and the identities.
While there has been speculation of identities posted on social media, the Chronicle is awaiting official word from the sheriff’s office.
E-911 Center received a call shortly after 11 p.m. Friday of the discovery of two bodies in a house, according to Cox. A neighbor had been asked by a family member to go check on the house after being unable to contact family members for a few days.
When the unidentified neighbor discovered the two bodies, he quickly left the house and notified authorities.
Responding deputies and Cumberland County Emergency Medical personnel raced to the scene.
First deputy to arrive found a male and the female in bed, and it was apparent the two had been dead for more than a day. Deputies searching the residence then found a third body in a separate room and exited the house, securing the scene for investigators.
It appeared all three died in their sleep as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning, Cox said. Also found in the residence was an “unventilated propane heater.”
Cox said there was no reason to suspect foul play, but cause of death is being withheld until confirmation from the medical examiner’s office.
The Mayo Clinic website states, “Carbon monoxide poisoning occurs when carbon monoxide builds up in your bloodstream. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air, your body replaces the oxygen in your red blood cells with carbon monoxide. This can lead to serious tissue damage, or even death.
Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas produced by burning gasoline, wood, propane, charcoal or other fuel. Improperly ventilated appliances and engines, particularly in a tightly sealed or enclosed space, may allow carbon monoxide to accumulate to dangerous levels.”
It is recommended, especially at this time of year, that all homes are equipped with carbon monoxide detectors.