MERIDIAN -- As the family of an 18-year-old Marine continues to mourn his sudden death, questions continue as to if, and how, the tragedy could have been prevented.

McQuen Forbush was home on leave, staying overnight at his girlfriend's apartment in Meridian on November 10, 2012 when a high level of carbon monoxide took his life.

Newschannel 7 has been investigating the incident, and has confirmed that the apartment complex was aware of possible carbon monoxide leaks in that unit before Forbush's death.

What's more, other people living at Sagecrest Apartments say the apartment's management company sent a letter earlier this year warning of faulty water heaters and potentially high levels of the deadly gas.


Newschannel 7 got a copy of that letter, which says inspections at the complex showed higher levels of carbon monoxide in some units.

The renter of the apartment where Forbush died confirms she did receive the letter, but had no idea the level of danger.

The letter goes on to say the water heaters could be replaced the next week.

But at least one resident we talked to believes his water heater was never replaced.

As for the unit where Forbush died, the renter tells us she never saw her water heater get replaced, and doesn't know if it was or not.


We wanted to ask the apartment complex itself whether all the heaters were replaced and the issue corrected.

We visited Sagecrest several times, but were told only one person could answer our questions -- the president of the homeowners association.

After leaving several messages, we finally got him on the phone, but he had no comment, and refused to confirm the letter, or respond to the allegations.


But our investigation didn't stop there. We also requested all carbon monoxide calls made to the fire department from the Sage Crest Apartments over the past two years.

After reading through all the records, we found a total of five carbon monoxide incidents -- not including Forbush's.

The first was back in the spring of 2010, when firefighters detected nearly six times the allowed amount of C.O.

The next report came that fall from a different unit, and sent three residents to the hospital including a child.

Then, more than a year later, another confirmed carbon monoxide leak, followed by two more cases earlier this fall.

In several reports, the water heater in each unit is suspected as the cause.


While the frequency of these carbon mononxide calls may seem surprising, the Meridian Fire Department was not concerned.

In a complex that size, that number of calls is not unusual at all, again they were very sporadic, says Meridian Deputy Fire Chief Chris Amenn.

However, what some might find alarming, is that these potentially fatal calls happened in the first place.

Amenn says most carbon monoxide problems his department responds to happen during the fall, when heaters are turned back on in in many apartments and homes.

As for the Sagecrest Apartments, Amenn says while Forbrush's death is tragic, there's no trend in the reports that makes it seem suspicious. It is not something that came up on our tracking at all, because it's not frequent enough; it wasn't isolated enough; it wasn't outside the norm for what we would normally see, says Amenn.

We showed Amenn the letter residents say warned them of possible carbon monoxide problems. He had never seen it before, but said as long as the water heaters in these apartments were fixed, it's not concerning to him.

However, the letter does raises questions that representatives from the Sagecrest Apartment complex will not answer.

Here's the question News Channel 7 wants answered:does the letter show that McQuen Forbush's carbon monoxide death could have been prevented?

Again, we called the property management group at the complex, but they told us they could not comment on the case.

Again, the president of the homeowners association told us he had no information either, and would not comment on the letter.


The Meridian Police Department is still investigating Forbush's death.

While we all wait to hear from the property management group or the homeowner's association, the Meridian Fire Department has also taken action.

Last week, the fire department actually sent out a letter to all Sagecrest Apartment Tenants. It mentions Forbush's death, and gives information on carbon monoxide detectors, signs of exposure, and maintaining appliances.

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