A man and his granddaughter died of carbon monoxide poisoning last weekend while camping out at a rodeo in Clements, Calif.


Richard Kovacs, 56, and Jordan Kovacs, 14, were both from Copperopolis. They perished last Saturday night or Sunday morning while sleeping in an area they had marked off at the end of a horse trailer. There weren’t any horses in the trailer, as they had been placed in a stable.

Earlier in the evening before they died Kovacs and his granddaughter cooked on a charcoal grill, and it is suspected that the grill was the source of the carbon monoxide that killed them.  The Kovacs has been camping on the grounds of the Clements Stampede.

In an opportunistic move, a carbon monoxide detector maker, First Alert, requested that the Clements fire chief hold  a press  conference to turn the deaths into a teachable moment.

In a statement, First Alert said, “There is no typical situation for accidental carbon monoxide poisoning. It could easily happen in a home. This one happened in a camper but serves as a reminder not to use grills indoors, in garages or in any indoor setting.”  

As of July 1, in California those who live in single-family homes must have carbon monoxide detectors.

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