POISONOUS fumes from an LPG heater are being blamed for the deaths of a man and his pets asleep in a campervan at Rye last week.
The man, 57, was living in the van behind a friend’s house in Sydney Street with his kelpie dog and pet bird.
The friend told police he had spoken to the man about the need for proper ventilation if he was using the heater in the days leading up to his death. However, all were found dead when he checked on them, 10.30am, Monday 24 September.
Leading Senior Constable Brendan Richardson, of Dromana police, said inadequate ventilation appeared to be a factor in the tragedy and the man’s death was not being treated as suspicious.
“The witness was unable to raise them and called police,” he said. “Rye CFA attended to disperse the fumes and make the scene safe for the police and ambulance and the man’s body was taken to the coroner’s office.”
Police say gas heaters should be checked regularly and oxygen depletion sensors used to warn of dangers from fumes.