- Every year, on average, there are 27 “chimney-related” deaths in the United States.
- Out of those 27, fourteen can be directly attributed to a parent or family member’s failed attempt at “surprising” young children residing in the household, by pretending to be Santa Claus.
- This holiday season, in an effort to curb this troubling trend and reduce the number of needless chimney deaths each year, state and local law enforcement agencies have teamed up to educate people on the potential risks associated with chimneys.
- Since the early 1970’s many homes built with chimney’s were forced to reduce the size of the chimney’s “flue” (the long portion of the chimney above the hearth or firebox) in a government-mandated attempt to reduce carbon monoxide emissions. It is believed that the majority of deaths by people who didn’t know this, is indeed at the heart of the startling volume of occurrences of chimney deaths.
- Captain John Haverton of the CHP Office of Media Relations informed us late yesterday, that the CHP in conjunction with the Sheriff’s Department will be releasing a series of three 30 second PSA “commercials” to be aired starting December 17th through January 2nd. There have also been 2 radio spots recorded by local area “deejays” to be played on radio stations during that same time period.
- In addition, it has been announced by the (USMC) Marine “Toys for Tots” Foundation that at locations around the city, flyers will be handed out by volunteers to those dropping off donations, to help “get out the word”…”Chimneys can Kill”.
- There are obvious risks involved in owning a home with a chimney. Routine safety precautions should be taken if you have a chimney. It is recommended that before lighting it for the first time each season, that you have a professional “chimney sweep” make sure that the chimney-way is sufficiently cleaned and free of debris, to reduce the chance for carbon-monoxide poisoning. Some may think that simply burning a creosote log will do the job, but experts warn merely burning a log (billed as a “cleaning agent”) without being sure that chimney is “clear” is potentially deadly.
- In an interview earlier this week, we spoke with Zachary Fillmore, owner and operator of the local professional chimney maintenance company, “Coming Down With the FLUE” and he had this to say about the community’s concerted efforts this year to get the word out…
A Bakersfield doctor whose decomposing body was found Saturday in the chimney of her estranged boyfriend’s house died accidentally from being unable to breathe, the coroner’s staff reported Tuesday. (of course it was)
Other new developments in the death of Dr. Jacquelyn Kotarac — who on the night of Wednesday, Aug. 25, went down the chimney to try to get into the house — include that she had an airplane ticket to go to Amsterdam on Friday with the boyfriend, and she arranged earlier on Wednesday night to have a service drive her home from Cafe Med where she had been drinking, police Sgt. Mary DeGeare confirmed.
The chimney was too narrow for a person to get all the way down, police said.
The boyfriend, identified by neighbors and property records as 58-year-old William H. Moodie, the own er of a petroleum engineering company, not only reported Kotarac missing Thursday but also slept in his house Thursday night as Kotarac was stuck, apparently dead in his chimney, DeGeare said. (wtf?)
He was never considered a suspect in the case, the sergeant said.
Moodie, who left for the trip Friday, did not return a telephone call Tuesday.
The incident began Wednesday at about 10:15 p.m. — some two hours after Kotarac was driven to her home in the Tuscany neighborhood near Lake Ming — when she drove herself to Moodie’s home in the 4300 block of La Mirada, a few blocks east of the Four Points Sheraton Hotel.
Moodie didn’t want to see her and slipped out the back door when she arrived, police said.
Kotarac apparently used a shovel to try to break into the back door, police said. Moodie spent the night elsewhere, police said.The internal medicine doctor, a 1991 graduate of UCLA Medical School, did not show up Thursday at the San Dimas Street medical office where she worked, police said.
One of her assistants contacted Moodie on Thursday, and both of them searched his house. That’s when the shovel was found as well as her purse and her car, police said. (uh, oh)
Moodie and the assistant reported her missing, DeGeare said. (good move)
Moodie returned to his home Thursday to prepare for his trip and he spent the night there, DeGeare said.
Another assistant to Kotarac drove her car to Los Angeles that day to update her passport for the trip, the sergeant (gconfirmed.(sure…that makes sense)
Police searched the home Friday evening, but also did not find her body or smell any bad odors, DeGeare said. (nas-tay)
Following the missing person report, the doctor’s family consulted a psychic who couldn’t feel the doctor’s presence, according to Wayne Wallace, a private investigator. He said he was consulted by the family Saturday to look into Kotarac’s disappearance. (or in “unusual places”)
Wallace said he gathered information Saturday but he deferred to police Saturday night after a woman checking on Moodie’s fish tank discovered a foul odor and saw fluids in the fireplace. (eww)
Police then discovered a body lodged in the chimney and flue. Police said Kotarac used a ladder to get to the chimney and she removed the cap and slid down the flue feet first.
Bakersfield firefighters dismantled the chimney Saturday night and Sunday morning, the day Kotarac would have turned 50 years old.
Two sisters, one of whom is a nurse, and a friend consulted with Wallace on Saturday, the private investigator said.
Sometime after Kotarac returned home from Cafe Med, where her family said she was a regular visitor, she stopped at a Chevron station and bought cat food, Wallace said. (I hate cats)
It is unknown if Kotarac was drunk Wednesday and that part of an autopsy typically isn’t available for weeks. (She was hammered)
Wallace said he learned Kotarac sometimes showed up late for work, but every patient he talked to described her as a very good doctor.
(but a really lousy Santa)
…Nothing in Bakersfield surprises me anymore. . . But every once in a while a story comes along that makes me pause. . . shake my head. . . then go about my day, thanking the dude I call “God”, that I’m not even HALF as screwed up as most people. This story came along late yesterday, but I’m sure a lot of you have already heard about it.
I am left with more than a “few” questions. Some still think the boyfriend killed her. But I am among those that think she acted alone. . . Yes, “she” and “she alone” decided to get faced and cram her ass down her ex-boyfriend’s chimney. Apparently, “common sense” is not a prerequisite for Medical School. I don’t care HOW effed up I used to get, when I used to partake of the malted beverage, I would have NEVER tried to pull a stunt like that. . . I would have used a window.
I feel sorry for the family, but PUH-LEASE! This chick graduated with HONORS? She was in the chimney for 3 days, while her ex was overseas. . . Good thing, I guess, ‘cuz I could smell it from MY house. . . She was also pretty snockered from reports that came out today. . . I guess she learned HER lesson, huh?. . . Can you imagine when she “sobered up”?
“Well, I should have probably thought this out a little better. . . Oh CRAP, I forgot. . . I still have a KEY! I’m such a fool. . . I wonder when he’s going to be home? We’re going to have such a big laugh about this! Gettin’ a little hot in here. . .”
At least she went out with some dignity. . .
‘Til Then. . . Go Figg’r!
Peace Out. . . Later
D A N
P.S. This “unfortunate incident” happened on a day when another “Doctor” landed a plane on Interstate 5. . . Don’t you think HE feels screwed!? It’s like Farrah dying the same day as Michael Jackson! Please note, that while I derive no personal satisfaction or particular “pleasure” from the misfortune of others…well, this wasn’t really a misfortune now, was it?…
…People do stupid crap all the time and die as a result…I just hope when it’s “my time”, there is no chimney involved…The smart money says, there won’t be…