Her family issued a statement saying, “We are heartbroken as we and our two older children mourn Rachel’s passing and that of her sister Rebecca who died Saturday, February 6th. Their funeral will be held in the next few days, and we request the opportunity to quietly celebrate their lives with our friends and family at that time. We appreciate the talented healthcare professionals at Davis Hospital and Primary Children’s Medical Center who cared capably and lovingly for our beautiful daughters and for us. We also want to thank so many community members for the outpouring of kindness we have felt and for the sustaining prayers offered in our behalf.”
LAYTON, Utah (ABC 4 News) - It's a pesticide that's supposed to kill rodents, instead it may have killed a 4-year-old Davis County girl Rebecca Toone and her 15-month-old sister Rachel.
The Toone family is heartbroken and mourning the loss of their little girls. An initial autopsy ruled out carbon monoxide as the cause of Rebecca’s death. It could take 6-8 weeks for the toxicology tests to confirm what exactly killed the girl.
Brenda Toone initially called fire crews Friday night after a carbon monoxide detector went off. Crews responded and found CO levels were slightly elevated, but not dangerous. Questar ventilated the house. Then on Saturday, the Toone family was treated for flu-like symptoms and released. Later that evening they took Rebecca to a clinic. She was having breathing problems and the clinic suspected poisoning and rushed her to the hospital where she died.
Sunday, the family's 15-month-old baby Rachel was taken to Primary Children's Hospital with symptoms of poisoning. Rachel died early Monday morning.
Investigators believe the family was exposed to fumitoxin. Ray Wilson, the owner of Bug Man Pest Control based out of Bountiful says his company used fumitoxin to treat a vole problem at the Toone house on Friday. Wilson says they did everything in accordance with the fumatoxins label and used proper and correct procedures.
Hazmat crews tested the air inside the home and found high levels of phosphine; that's a gas that's released from aluminum phosphide pesticide pellets when they get wet.
According to the CDC, children tend to be more at risk than adults for pesticide poisoning because they breathe more frequently and they are closer to the ground where the vapors settle.
Layton police say the family is not staying in the house until it's deemed safe. Investigators are also trying to determine how much of the chemical was used and how the gas made it's way into the home.
Fumitoxin is not only deadly to rats and other rodents, it can be deadly to humans. Symptoms of phosphine poisoning include, nausea stomach pain, tightness in the chest, diarrhea and respiratory failure.
Experts say this type of poisoning is very rare unless the chemical is overused.