Two hunters died and another became ill from carbon monoxide poisoning Sunday while sleeping in a hunting cabin in Wirth, Ark., a small community in Sharp County located about 13 miles southeast of Mammoth Spring. The men were reportedly family members who had been staying at the cabin all weekend.
At around 11:12 a.m. Sunday, Sharp County Sheriff Shane Russell reported, his office was made aware of two possibly deceased men at a cabin in a rural area off of Bank Road outside of Wirth.
The owner of the cabin, Charles “Michael” Adams, told law enforcement he and son Charles “Gregory” Adams, 46, of Marmaduke, Ark., and Michael “Luke” Adams of Caraway, Ark., the three had spent the weekend hunting, and on Saturday evening, they’d eaten dinner and watched television.
The cabin owner said he went to bed while the other two stayed up, but woke around 3 a.m. Sunday morning and sat by the cabin's propane heater because he was cold, watching television, then went to the restroom, where he fell down.
He was unable to stand and yelled at the two other men to help him and hit the wall with an object to try and wake them, but was unable to. He said he lay on the floor for several hours before he was able to stand up, and when he did, he noticed it was daylight and saw the other men on the floor, unresponsive. He had last seen the two men asleep in their beds, he added, and didn't hear any loud noises while he was in the restroom.
In distress, Adams left the cabin and contacted a neighbor who called 911, Russell reported. Detectives processed the scene and discovered a dog in one of the beds that appeared disoriented and did not respond to anyone. The dog was lifted out of the bed and onto the floor, and it stumbled while walking with deputies, but became more alert once it was outside the cabin.
Detectives on scene said they smelled the strong odor of propane inside the cabin and discovered the propane stove to be in the "on" position, with the propane tank empty. Law enforcement reportedly suffered minor headaches from the exposure to the gas, but did not require medical treatment.
“The case was able to be closed due to the magnificent work by these amazing investigators,” said Russell in a press release issued to area media. He credited agency Captain Joshua Williams for guiding the responding team through the investigation.