Fumes Kill Man, Then Mourners

Milwaukee (AP) – Deadly fumes from a faulty furnace killed a man last week and then claimed the lives of three relatives who stayed at this home to plan his funeral, authorities said Monday. The relatives had known nothing about the furnace problem.

The death Wednesday of Edward G. Zarnow, 89, at his home in the suburb of Greendale originally was blamed on a heart attack. Authorities said they did not conduct an autopsy because they had no reason to suspect that his death had been caused by lethal fumes from the basement furnace.

But carbon monoxide poisoning caused the deaths Sunday of Zarnow’s son from Austrailia, his granddaughter and the granddaughter’s husband. A daughter-in-law from Australia is in critical condition in a hospital.

Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen of Milwaukee County said Monday that an autopsy of the elder Zarnow conducted after his four relatives were found showed that he had a high concentration of the carbon monoxide in his blood.

Jentzen identified the relatives as Michael Martin, 38, of Marshfield, Wis.; his wife, Karen, 37; and Edward C. Zarnow Jr., 57, of New South Wales, Australia. Edward C. Zarnow’s wife, Rebecca, 56, also of Australia, is in critical condition at St. Lukes Medical Center in Milwaukee.

Wisconsin Natural Gas spokesman Paul Markovina said investigators discovered the gas furnace’s regulator was maladjusted, causing too much gas to go into the furnace.

An excerpt from ” The St. Louis Post-Dispatch”.