Investigators suspect carbon monoxide in Blount Co. woman's deat

Investigators suspect carbon monoxide in Blount Co. woman's death

Posted:
Blount County sheriff's deputies rushed to the home off McArthur Road Saturday to check on a report of a deceased person. Inside the home, deputies found the body of Debra Cerrato, 58, in her bed. Blount County sheriff's deputies rushed to the home off McArthur Road Saturday to check on a report of a deceased person. Inside the home, deputies found the body of Debra Cerrato, 58, in her bed.
Blount County Fire Chief Doug McClanahan says investigators suspect carbon monoxide poisoning. Blount County Fire Chief Doug McClanahan says investigators suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

MARYVILLE (WATE) - Investigators say they found high levels of carbon monoxide throughout the home of a Blount County woman found dead over the weekend.

Blount County sheriff's deputies rushed to the home off McArthur Road Saturday to check on a report of a deceased person. Inside the home, deputies found the body of Debra Cerrato, 58, in her bed.

There's still no word yet on the cause of death, because investigators are waiting on toxicology results. However, investigators suspect it could be carbon monoxide because a small dog also died and Mr. Cerrato did not need any medical care.

Just two houses down, Debra Cerrato's neighbors were saddened to hear about her unexpected death.

"Our hearts sank. I mean to lose a loved one like that and not know what happened," said neighbor Michael Sneed.

The Blount County Sheriff's Office is working to find out what happened. They do know Cerrato was found in bed by her husband unresponsive around noon Saturday.

"I know it's gotta be really rough on him," added Sneed.

Blount County Fire Chief Doug McClanahan says investigators suspect carbon monoxide poisoning.

"What we found was a big generator closed up in a storage room and it was running," he said.

Firefighters used meters to test the concentration of carbon monoxide throughout the home.

"Anything over 100 parts per million is considered high, and this was considerably higher than that," added Chief McClanahan.

The Blount County Fire Department warns carbon monoxide is a silent killer that makes you feel sick.

"You don't know it's there until it starts affecting you. Our best recommendation is having carbon monoxide alarms in the house," added Chief McClanahan.

Carbon monoxide detectors are available at stores like Walmart or Lowes for as little as $15.

There was also a second carbon monoxide-related issue over the weekend in Blount County. In that case, fire officials believe issues with a man's fireplace caused a high level of smoke and carbon monoxide to build inside his home. He was flown to Erlanger Hospital where he's in stable condition.

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