Fundraising efforts are underway to help the family of a Kamloops woman who died of carbon monoxide poisoning while camping with her daughter in the Shuswap during the Victoria Day long weekend.
Lucille Beaurain died and her pre-teen daughter was last reported to be in critical condition in B.C. Children’s Hospital in Vancouver after the pair was overcome with carbon monoxide on May 18 while in their tent at the private Sandy Point Beach campground.
Mounties say a cooking pot used as a source of heat is believed to have been the source of the carbon monoxide poisoning.
Beaurain was found deceased, while her daughter was airlifted to hospital.
An online fundraising campaign to help the daughter’s father, Chris, with expenses has been launched. It can be found online at tinyurl.com/yxp4ymmv.
In addition, the Chase Fire and Rescue Association is hosting a fundraiser on Saturday, May 25, to help raise money for the cause.
The fire department will hold a car wash, dog wash, barbecue and bake sale in the parking lot of the Pharmasave drug store, 825 Shuswap Ave. in Chase, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
A fundraising dinner will also be held, on June 4 at On The Rocks Pub in Aberdeen, at 1265 Rogers Way. The dinner will take place from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. A $15 ticket will buy a burger and a beverage.
Beaurain, who was a well-known makeup artists and who also worked with children in a day care, is being remembered by friends in online posts.
“Lucy was a sweetheart and such a loving mom to her babies.” reads one post, while another person added: “A fabulous woman with so much character and love.”
Another person added: “I met her mother and an absolutely wonderful person. Her daughter goes to my child’s school as well. Although I didn’t know the family well, she was a great person and parent to her young daughter. I am praying hard for her daughter’s recovery.”
Last weekend, an online fundraising effort raised $2,700 in less than two days, with the money helping Beaurain’s sister travel to Kamloops from Scotland.
With the May long weekend kicking off the camping season, police are warning people not to use camp stoves inside poorly ventilated spaces.
Technical Safety B.C. warns people to “never operate portable fuel-burning devices such as camp stoves, barbecues or generators indoors or in closed spaces.”
Carbon monoxide, sometimes called the “invisible killer,” is colourless, odourless and tasteless, and can be fatal when inhaled.
Unlike many other toxins and poisons, carbon monoxide doesn’t immediately irritate a person’s body or cause pain, so there is often no warning sign of its presence, according to a provincial awareness campaign.
Initial symptoms can include dizziness, severe headaches, nausea, sleepiness, fatigue and disorientation.
Carbon monoxide inhibits the blood’s capacity to carry oxygen and at high levels or with prolonged exposure can also cause chest pain, poor vision and difficulty thinking.
Too high a concentration can cause convulsions, coma and death.
At least 50 people in Canada die of carbon monoxide poisoning every year but there is no national database, Pierre Voisine, a director with the Canadian Association of Fire Chiefs, said in 2017.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warn that fuel-burning equipment such as camping stoves, camping heaters, lanterns and charcoal grills should never be used inside a tent, camper or other enclosed shelter.
“Opening tent flaps, doors or windows is insufficient to prevent buildup of CO concentrations from these devices. When using fuel-burning devices outdoors, the exhaust should not vent into enclosed shelters,” according to a report.