Four members of an Arizona family were found dead in a cabin on New Year's Day after a "significant failure" in the building's heating system, officials disclosed Tuesday.
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The Coconino County Sheriff's Office said in a news release the family was found dead Monday inside the cabin they were staying at in Parks, located in the northern part of the state between Williams and Flagstaff.
The sheriff's office identified the individuals as 32-year-old Anthony Capitano, 32-year-old Megan Capitano, 4-year-old Lincoln Capitano and 3-year-old Kingsley Capitano.
Authorities received an initial call around 12:26 p.m. from a friend of the family who said relatives had been trying to contact the Capitanos "for a few days with no success" and had became concerned and wanted a welfare check.
A deputy who arrived at the home around 1:17 p.m. reported a strong odor of gas coming from the home and requested fire officials. Officials from the Ponderosa Fire Department put on protective breathing equipment before entering the cabin, where they made the grim discovery.
"We believe possibly carbon monoxide poisoning malfunction in the heater or any other gas appliance in the residence. We have not determined what that was exactly yet," Jon Paxton of the Coconino County Sheriff's Office told FOX10 Phoenix.
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On Tuesday, a contractor found a "significant failure" in cabin's the heating system, which would be consistent with carbon monoxide overcoming the residence, according to the sheriff's office. The heating unit was the only gas appliance in the structure.
While officials have determined the heating system failed, the official manner and cause of death of the family is still to be determined by the Coconino County Medical Examiner’s Office.
Neighbors and friends of the family said Tuesday they were devastated by the loss.
"He loved his family, he loved his children, just a great example to follow," Daniel Matlock told FOX10 about his friend, Anthony.
The couple were diehard Arizona Cardinals fans, frequently posting social media pics attending games, and had a family dynamic Matlock said was "something all can strive towards."
A neighbor who did not know the Capitanos personally said she planned to monitor their house to make sure no one took anything from the home.
"When it comes to little people, it's upsetting, but to lose your whole family," Chrissy Smith said.