Twin Toddlers Dead from Faulty Heating System

Investigators in Carrollton are looking into a poorly functioning heater as the primary suspect in the unexpected deaths of twin boys, Asa and Elija Kirby on Monday, September 21st.

The police were called to the family’s home around 8:00am with a report of sick children. Upon arrival, they found the boys unresponsive, their parents doing everything within their power to sustain their lives. CPR was preformed on the site and paramedics rushed the boys to Tanner Medical Center in Villa Rica. There, despite the best efforts of their parents and emergency response professionals, the toddlers were pronounced dead.

“The temperature in the bedroom was well over 100 degrees,” said Carrollton Police Capt. Chris Dobbs. “We believe that’s what cased their deaths.”

Jimmy Bearden, Carrollton Fire Chief, told the Times-Georgian that there was simply nothing anyone could have done to save the boys at that point.

Though autopsies are still called for, the general belief is that the incident was an accident caused by a poorly functioning heating system. Though the heating and cooling system had been a complaint of the Kirby family before this, it is unlikely that they could have predicted the tragedy it would eventually cause.

We often take for granted how we rely on the conveniences that maintain our comfortable environment. It is easy to forget that when these systems do fail, severe injuries can be incurred, or as this heartbreaking event illustrates, lives can be lost. When heaters and air conditioners fail, it is all too often the most vulnerable among us who suffer. The very young or the very old who may lack the physical resilience to cope with these extremes and, as in the heartbreaking example of Asa and Elija Kirby, may not have the ability to tell those around them that something has gone wrong. They can only wait to be found, and hope that when that happens, it is not too late.

Stories like this remind us of the importance of properly checking and maintaining heating and cooling systems. A contractor should check the entire heating and cooling system every year pre-season to ensure peak performance. A responsible contractor will check thermostat settings, tighten electrical connections, lubricate moving parts, inspect the condensation drain for plugs or water damage and check the operation controls to make sure the system cycles properly from start, through operation, and finally shut down. He should also check for possible gas or oil leaks. Air filters should be changed monthly. This will not only save money in energy usage, it will help minimize the chances of problems which could lead to future injuries or even death.

My sympathies go to the Kirby family for their loss, and my respect to the police, fire department, and other rescue workers for their response.

If you or a loved one has been injured in a product liability or premises liability case, contact an experienced Atlanta personal injury attorney as soon as possible. Call MLN Law at 404-531-9700 to schedule a free consultation.