Importance of proper reporting: couple killed, news can't get the story right

[Edit] Story details have been changed:


… wow… Glad I’m getting a filter, but even so, I’ve got a CO2 alarm just in case.


I wonder about the story, since it references a “laser 3d printer”, which is not really a term except around here. But yeah, don’t vent inside for all sorts of reasons.


The size of the molecule determines whether or not it will be absorbed by a carbon filter, and unless I’m mistaken, a two atom molecule like carbon monoxide is too small to be filtered by activated charcoal.


I hope it’s a CO alarm, or you’d be hearing it each time you exhale! :wink:


Seems a little odd to me. What would give off CO when hit by a laser ?
Carbon Monoxide is usually produced by combustion in low oxygen levels, like a badly adjusted boiler system.


Seems more than a little. CO is not the byproduct in any levels near large enough by lasering common materials to kill someone.

There’s got to be more to the story. On the ambulance we only see this in homes where there’s a defective heating appliance or they’re using an outside heater/grill/whatever inside despite all the warnings not to.

Heck, it’s even hard with the old running car in a closed garage nowdays. Between the catalytic converter and the engine computer, the car has usually turned itself off before the potential suicide becomes not-potential.


CO poisoning happens with depressing regularity every winter here in Colorado – invariably due to malfunctioning furnace/fireplace/stove/water heater or the use of BBQ/Grill indoors.

“Laser 3D printer” is oddly specific in the story, as others have mentioned. Just because “a source” says something doesn’t mean that’s what happened. :confused:


Yeah, seems improbable. I mean sure, you generate some CO when cutting wood with a Laser but the volume is pretty small usually. People chain smoke cigarettes which also produce CO and while quite detectable when I do an arterial blood gas, hardly fatal (well in the short term at least). Every case I’ve ever treated was always heating system related. To reach high enough levels in a house is a large volume.


The article throws up all kinds of flags for me. Sorry. Looks like one of those “got to drive up circulation” things at best.

How much would they have to be lasering to use up all the oxygen in a room, much less an entire house? Was the house filled with carbon residue, because I would expect it to stink like an ashtray…no mention.

A source with law enforcement? Who? How much input did the source actually have with the investigation? Or was that just made-up because it sounds authentic? (Gets my vote.)

People who poison themselves down here with carbon monoxide generally run a generator inside overnight and die while they are sleeping. No mention as to how something like this could occur. Unless they decided to go to bed during a multi-hour engrave, which anyone with a brain wouldn’t do, I call total BS on this one.

Sad thing is…it works. It’s going to scare the pants off the gullible.


Friends of the couple have said there is no indication either their 3D printer nor their laser cutter were running that night. It’s awful this is reflecting badly on maker technology; the news report is lazy and not adequately researched.

Source, currently top comment here:


If he had exhausted the laser somehow through the furnace/water heater flue, there would be the possibility that the laser fans caused a back-flow, and if he let that condition proceed all night is the only conceivable way I can think of you could kill every creature in the house.


I see that @dan has already commented at the source site, and it’s not a Glowforge.

He would know.

Sloppy reporting like this is inexcusable.


Another article stated that a generator had been heard running.


That would make more sense, unfortunately for the family. :disappointed:


Unfortunately they’re throwing Glowforge all over the place in the thread you linked. Lots of speculation and misinformation. Dan jumped in and said it wasn’t a GF but that’s not stopping it. The “3D Laser Printer” has grabbed hold and since GF made that up, it’s getting tagged with speculative blame. Likely no one outside this group is going to get it. This is going to live on in the internet as a GF caused death.


Unfortunately hackernews comment threads can quickly devolve into torches and pitchforks. Dan said what needed to be said. Easy for the people spouting off to forget that two well-loved and highly accomplished people have died and far too young.


I am trying to figure out what could be laser cut in enough volume to output enough CO to cause asphyxiation in two humans and two cats. That isn’t a small amount and the burn volume from using a laser cutter is so small that I can’t see it producing enough byproduct of any kind to be problematic. I think the conclusion of either the 3D printer or the laser cutter being to blame is really premature. I think the generator is a more likely cause.


I really hope you’re wrong about that one. :confounded:

People generally have a pretty short attention span for news unless it affects them directly, and if they aren’t engaged, they’ll forget about it and focus on the latest and greatest starlet scandal when it pops up. Much juicier stuff there.

(That was the mature adult speaking after much reflection …the not-quite-there-yet youngster that cohabits in my head wants to slowly twist the tiny peanuts off of that moronic reporter and feed them to him. Without salt.) :relaxed:



How many people remember Toyota Priuses accelerators sticking and causing car crashes? Remember the guy in California who was “scared he was going to die when it took off without him stepping on the gas” that started it all?

Remember the millions of dollars for a recall to “fix” the floor mats?

…How about the subsequent investigation that found the guy made it all up?