POCATELLO – Bannock County Coroner Kim Quick says a Pocatello couple and their two sons died from carbon monoxide poisoning caused by a faulty water heater in their home.
Quick believes that Bill and Ross Parrish, 14-year-old Keegan and 12-year-old Liam died in their sleep sometime between 11 p.m. and midnight Saturday.
An uncle, who is an EMT, found the four family members dead in their home on Sunday after they failed to show up for a family dinner party.
Quick said he's responded to several poisonous gas incidents over the past 25 years, but none like this.
"I can't remember one where we had four fatalities," he said.
"So they had been there for a while and the house was full of noxious fumes and was not a good scene at all, but it appears from the coroner's conversation with us that there was no suffering, they passed out and passed on without any pain and that is a comfort for the family,” said Craig Parrish, Bill's cousin.
Quick says this is a tragic reminder of the importance of a carbon monoxide detector in homes where carbon is burned, such as wood stoves and other non-electric heating sources.
Bill Parrish was a dentist on the Fort Hall Indian Reservation. He and his wife, Ross, had two boys living at the home and two other children serving on missions for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
According to the Deseret News, Jensen Parrish will leave her mission in Washington state and her younger brother, Ian Parrish, will leave his mission in South Dakota today to return to Pocatello.
The LDS Stake President for the Bill Parrish family, President Scott Barfuss, issued a statement.
"We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of the family members of two of the Church’s full time missionaries (Sister Jensen Parrish serving in the Washington Vancouver Mission and Elder Ian Parrish serving in the South Dakota Rapid City Mission). We extend our heartfelt sympathies to these missionaries and their entire family as they mourn this tragic loss."
As of Tuesday morning, family members are still planning the funeral services.