SMITHFIELD, R.I. (WPRI) — Smithfield police continue to investigate after a home filled with carbon monoxide last week, causing a woman’s death and her three children to be hospitalized.
Emergency crews responded to the Pleasant View Avenue home on the night of Feb. 15 after receiving a call from the father, Guy Latour.
According to the police report obtained by Eyewitness News, officers arrived to find Latour outside the home. Latour told the officers he was in the garage at the time and when he went inside, he found his family unconscious and dialed 911.
Latour, his wife, and their three children, ages 6, 9, and 11, were rushed to the hospital for treatment. On Monday, officials confirmed that Kristen Latour passed away as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning. The children, at last check, were on the mend.
The report indicates that while on scene, police observed Guy Latour opening the back door of the garage and said they noticed a mature marijuana plant with a grow light over it.
The plumbing inspector investigated the garage and was then “certain of what happened,” according to the report. He stated that there was an “improper hole” drilled through the wall so that a garden hose could supply water to the garage. That combined with the snow outside, the atmospheric conditions, and plastic coverings over the basement windows created a draft, which affected the home’s chimney.
The plumbing inspector said the draft caused the heater to run poorly and debris to build up, so much so that it clogged the chimney and the flue. As a result, the exhaust flowed into the basement of the home and the garage, but the concentration was less in the garage due to the hole in the wall.
The report also indicated there were fans inside the garage to vent the marijuana odor, which added to the draft.
Eyewitness News reached out to the state Department of Health to find out if the grow operation was legal but officials couldn’t comment on the matter.
The investigation remains active. Smithfield Fire Chief Robert Seltzer said the case is now completely in the police department’s hands.