The Silent Killer: Carbon Monoxide

5:24 PM, Mar 29, 2013   |    comments
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BRUNSWICK, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - When police officers arrive at your house early Saturday morning, it's never positive.

For Christina Fedolfi, it was the end of life as she knew it.

From that point on, her life would be dedicated to a cause much greater than she would know, though she will never know why such a cause is even necessary in this day in age. Her mission: to prevent carbon monoxide deaths. Her drive: the tragic death of her sister, Caroline; brother-in-law, Parker; 10-year-old nephew, Owen; and 8-year-old niece, Sophie Lofgren.

That tragedy is the reason why Brunswick police were knocking on the Fedolfi's door that Saturday morning, November 29, 2008. That tragedy is the reason why laws are on the brink of changing so that every rental home, school and business is installed with a functioning carbon monoxide detector.

You see, the Lofgrens had won a long weekend at a rental home in Aspen, not far from where they lived in Colorado. The only weekend that would work for the accomplished family was Thanksgiving weekend. Caroline Lofgren had called her sister in Maine, saying she didn't even want to be there. She wanted to be with her recently widowed father, sister Christina and four other siblings with their families in Maine. After all, it was the first Thanksgiving since their mom died.

But Caroline was in Aspen, with her immediate family. They assumedly had a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. It would be their last. The next morning, family friends were coming to the luxury rental home. However, they began to panic when they couldn't contact the Lofgrens. They would soon find Caroline and Parker dead in their bed. Sophie and Owen passed away on the floor, at the foot of the bed. It's believed they felt the silent killer seep into their lungs in their own bedroom. There was blood found on their beds.

Experts say exhaust from a boiler in the home was piping carbon monoxide into their bedrooms at levels so high, it could kill anyone in just 20 minutes. The rental home had every luxury in the world, except carbon monoxide detectors to warn the family they were in danger.

Christina says the week that followed really changed her. Sure, it was heart-wrenching. It was the strength of her family, however, that helped her get through the tragedy. In fact, Parker's Swedish family followed with tradition, building Owen and Sophie's coffins in just 24 hours, so that they would rest forever in something unique and beautiful, just like them.

In the years following the tragedy, Christina faces a daily challenge: curl up under a rock and cry forever, or make sure no more Owens and Sophies die from the odorless, invisible killer. Christina has chosen the latter, and it has made all the difference.

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