EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. - On Friday morning, the El Paso County Sheriff's Office revealed that deputies found the bodies of two people and three dog carcasses in a home Monday.
The Sheriff's Office said the deaths are related to the blizzard, or "bomb cyclone," that hit southern Colorado earlier this month.
The dead persons were identified as James Tomsik, 55, and Lana Senna, 50. They were found in a home on Wagner Lane in Calhan, on the county's northeastern side.
"Yeah, I heard about that," a neighbor said. "I didn't know them. They just moved in less than a year ago. They could have come to my house if they needed help. So sad."
An investigation revealed that Senna, her husband and Tomsik all lived at the home. Senna's husband, who is a truck driver, was on the road at the time of the blizzard on March 13.
Senna's husband reported the deaths. He said he last spoke to his wife during the night of the blizzard. At the time, Senna stated they were without power.
Her husband was unable to contact her again.
The Sheriff's Office said the couple was using propane heaters to keep warm, and it's believed they died from carbon monoxide poisoning due to the lack of proper ventilation.
Drew Cahill, of the Colorado Springs Fire Department, said propane heaters are commonly used in open garages or warehouses, or on construction sites where more air can circulate.
"It's dangerous to use them in residential dwelling that are more enclosed and have less air circulation," he said. "Carbon monoxide is odorless and tasteless, and once you're exposed to it you can be overcome very quickly."
Cahill advises that people install working carbon monoxide detectors in their homes, particularly in or near bedrooms.
He also said carbon monoxide poisoning kills 400 people in the U.S. annually.
"We had some close calls during the blizzard," Cahill said. "People were trying to get creative with heating their homes. When you need electricity to run your home and the power's out, people think they can move something in short-term and they're going to be OK. But being (a) colorless and odorless (gas) is really what gets people.">
The Coroner's Office will determine the cause and manner of death once it has received all the information to make a ruling.