Wasilla, AK – Jan. 5, around 1:15 p.m., Wasilla resident Michelle Ahern died in her home due to carbon monoxide poisoning, according to the Alaska State Trooper dispatch posted Friday. Ahern, 44, has since been transported to Anchorage for autopsy.

Mat-Su Borough emergency services director Otto Feather said that Ahern’s daughter discovered her unresponsive mother and called AST. He said that after AST responded, West Lakes Ambulance and Central Mat-Su Rescue arrived on the scene.

“The bottom line is when our medics when in to check on the patient they found they she had expired and the CO levels in the home were in the excess of 850 parts per million That means there was a really high concentration of carbon monoxide,” Feather said.

Feather said that officials found the source of the high levels of carbon monoxide, a malfunctioning gas water heater.

“We would like to reiterate that all of us have operable smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in our homes,” Feather said.

Feather said that having functioning detectors needs to be the top priority for every resident to prevent future deaths and injuries from carbon monoxide. He said that people should regularly inspect their detectors and change the batteries annually.

“After new year’s is a good time to do that,” Feather said.

Feather noted that people should also be extra thorough when inspecting their homes since the 7.0 earthquake that hit Southcentral Alaska Nov. 30, 2018. He said it could have shaken up gas lines or other types of subtle damage that could lead to high levels of carbon monoxide.

“Make sure you’re being very careful about any gas operated appliance We just had this earthquake and there was a lot of appliances that were bounced around,” Feather said.

Call 907-861-8200 for smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and arrange for installation.SILLA—