Creston Boy Dies of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

By Beacon Staff

A 17-year-old Creston boy died of carbon monoxide poisoning in his family’s guest house, Flathead County officials said Monday.

Ian Scott Hineman died Sunday morning, said Deputy Coroner Sgt. Ernie Freebury.

The boy had volunteered to sleep in the guest house in case the water pipes broke during the weekend’s low temperatures, Freebury said.

Hineman told his parents that the propane furnace for a hot tub in the house was not working. His parents told him to shut off the gas valve, turn off the furnace and put insulation in the furnace’s exhaust vent to keep out cold air, Freebury said.

The boy blocked the exhaust vent, but did not turn off the gas or the furnace, Freebury’s report said. The guest house filled with carbon monoxide.

The boy’s father called 911 Sunday morning, saying he found his son in the basement of the guest house and he was not breathing. A dispatcher gave the father CPR instructions, but the man said he could smell gas and felt faint.

The dispatcher told the man to grab his son and get out of the house, but the father lost consciousness.

Creston firefighters, wearing self-contained breathing equipment, pulled the father and son from the guest house. The boy was pronounced dead at Kalispell Regional Medical Center. The father, whose name hasn’t been released, was recovering.

The level of carbon monoxide exceeded what firefighters’ equipment could measure, Freebury said.