One man died and three others were sickened in an ice fishing house on Leech Lake, in what investigators suspect is a case of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch says a medical emergency was reported on Walker Bay a little after 4:30 p.m.Sunday. The initial investigation found that a propane device used to heat the ice house was not ventilated, leading to unsafe levels of carbon monoxide inside, Burch's announcement says.
One of the men was dead at the scene. Another was hospitalized – first in Park Rapids and then at Hennepin County Medical Center. The other two men were treated at the scene and released, the sheriff says.
Authorities did not immediately release the names of the men. The Ramsey County medical examiner will conduct an autopsy on the victim who died.
Keep propane tanks outside fish houses
The Minnesota Propane Gas Association says propane cylinders should always be kept outside a fish house and should be connected to an indoor heater with approved pipes and fittings.
The DNR says tanks and hoses should be checked for leaks each year and heater vents should be clear of obstructions like bird's nests or snow. They also recommend a carbon monoxide detector for the fish house.
If you are suffering from carbon monoxide poisoning, one of the first symptoms is usually a headache, but find a list of other symptoms here.