Coroner says Kamloops mom killed by carbon monoxide in tent | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Coroner says Kamloops mom killed by carbon monoxide in tent

November 20, 2020 - 6:30 AM

The B.C. Coroner's Service has confirmed that a 35-year-old Kamloops woman found dead in her tent during a camping trip near Salmon Arm in 2019 died from the toxic effects of carbon monoxide.

The B.C. Coroner's Service report says burnt embers wrapped in tin foil had been used to heat the tent where Lucille Beaurain was found deceased. The embers had been placed in a cooking pot in the tent.

Beaurain had been tenting at a campsite outside Salmon Arm in May 2019 with friends. The report says at 12:15 a.m. Beaurain went back to her tent to go to bed. At roughly 10:20 a.m. the next morning a friend went to check on Beaurain and found her dead in the tent.

Beaurain's nine-year-old daughter was also in the tent and was airlifted to the hospital and survived the incident.

The Coroner's report says a toxicology exam found Beaurain had died due to the toxic effects of carbon monoxide and recorded her death as accidental.

While people often think of carbon monoxide as something that comes from faulty gas fireplaces, according to Technical Safety B.C. the gas is released by the incomplete burning of carbon fuels such as propane, natural gas, oil, wood, charcoal, alcohol, kerosene or gasoline.

Technical Safety B.C says using a product that burns any of these fuel sources should never be done in an enclosed space as carbon monoxide can be trapped. The gas is colourless, odourless, and tasteless so it is difficult to know if a person has been exposed.

B.C. AdventureSmart executive director Sandra Riches said in 35-years of working in the outdoors this was the first case of carbon monoxide poisoning she had heard of, and stressed it was very important for people to understand the safety precautions of all the gear they're using.

According to a survey commissioned by Technical Safety B.C in early 2020, Canadians' knowledge of carbon monoxide safety is spotty.

Only one in five Canadians said they were "very knowledgeable" about carbon monoxide, and 30 per cent of Canadians said they weren't sure what the potential sources of carbon monoxide in their home were. The survey also found 50 per cent of Canadians had not checked to see if their carbon monoxide alarm was working in the last year, and 71 per cent of those surveyed did not know the signs of a carbon monoxide buildup in their home.

Technical Safety B.C said carbon monoxide interferes with the body’s ability to absorb oxygen and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning can appear a lot like the flu and can include headaches, confusion and vomiting.


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