LENEXA, Kan. — Officials have released more information Thursday in a Shawnee Mission teacher’s death.
Shawnee Mission North teacher Kenna Kobin died last Friday from carbon monoxide poisoning. Her wife, Katie Kobin, is currently hospitalized.
When the two didn’t show up to work Friday, police responded to their home for a welfare check and firefighters found the home was filled with dangerous levels of carbon monoxide.
The Kobins did have a carbon monoxide detector that went off, but the couple couldn’t hear it.
Katie Kobin suffered damage to her heart from the carbon monoxide exposure. Family told FOX4 she’s fighting for her life, but she is awake and they remain optimistic.
Now, Lenexa police have confirmed the source of the carbon monoxide came from a car that was left running inside the garage.
The department said the case is still under investigation.
“Carbon monoxide is considered the silent killer. It’s colorless; it’s odorless,” Butch Diekemper, an assistant chief of the Lenexa Fire Department, told FOX4 on Monday.
“I would encourage everybody to purchase a carbon monoxide detector, get it in your home immediately. Your family is worth that much.”
The EPA said half of all unintentional carbon monoxide deaths could be prevented by an alarm, but fewer than a third of all homes have them. A basic carbon monoxide detector will only cost about $15.
Here are other tips to prevent a similar situation:
- Have a carbon monoxide detector on every level where someone sleeps.
- Any levels above 35 parts per million need immediate attention.
- Never have your car running while the garage is closed – and pull it out when you start it.
- Have all home appliances checked annually.
- Symptoms include headache, dizziness and vomiting.
A 2019 report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission found that more than half of all deaths from carbon monoxide happen in the colder months, November through February.