Four Massachusetts residents died from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning inside a cabin Friday night in Byron, Maine, according to investigators.
The father of 21-year-old Brooke Wakelin of Attleboro and 18-year-old Matthew Wakelin of Mansfield arrived Friday night at a cabin at the Coos Canyon Campground to find them, their two friends and their dog dead.
The other two victims were 23-year-old Keith Norris of Attleboro and 22-year-old Deana Powers of Mansfield. The group was celebrating Brooke Wakelin's 22nd birthday, which would have been Saturday, and Matthew Wakelin's high school graduation.
"It's terrible for the families. I've talk to all the families," Oxford County Sheriff Wayne Gallant. "People are still in shock. It's a lot they'll have to sort out."
The victims traveled from Attleboro to Maine on Tuesday. Investigators believe they plugged a refrigerator into a generator in the basement and fell asleep.
"All indications are that they went to bed with the generator running and never knew that gas would take their lives," said Gallant.
"We still see tragedies all the time, and the message needs to keep getting out there to prevent them," said Paris firefighter Bailey Keating.
Firefighters say this could have been prevented. They say every home needs a carbon monoxide detector - and generators should never be turned on in the basement.
"This certainly is a message to anybody that - be so careful when you have to use alternate power sources like generators," said Gallant.
The victims' bodies have been taken to funeral homes in Rumford, Maine.