Sales of CO gas detectors on the rise in Aspen

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Aspen hardware stores can't keep enough carbon monoxide detectors on the shelves after the public learned of the tragic deaths of a family of four who died Friday from the deadly gas.

Aspen resident Elizabeth Milias, a friend of the deceased family, is urging people to invest in the $60 detectors, available at Alpine Ace Hardware and through her blog, www.theredant.com. The store is offering a 10 percent discount and free home delivery anywhere in Pitkin County if the detectors are ordered through the Web site.

"We are making a special effort because of this tragedy," Ace assistant manager Mark Janda said.

Milias addressed the Aspen City Council on Monday, urging elected officials to make carbon monoxide detectors mandatory in the building code for new and remodeled homes.

"This senseless tragedy due to carbon monoxide poisoning is especially difficult because carbon monoxide can be easily detected with the use of a small and inexpensive monitoring device, not unlike the smoke detectors we all have in our homes," Milias said.

Representatives from True Value in the Miner's Building and Ace Hardware under Clark's Market reported Monday that they have sold dozens of detectors since the tragedy.

"Our shelves are empty : we just filled them," Janda said Monday morning, adding more detectors are being ordered and brought from other stores in the valley.

The sudden interest in the detectors was prompted after Denver residents Parker Lofgren, 39; his wife, Caroline Lofgren, 42; and their children, Sophie, 8, and Owen, 10, died Friday of carbon monoxide poisoning after a faulty hot water system leaked the gas into a home they were staying at east of Aspen. There was no carbon monoxide detector in the home.

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