SPRINGFIELD - The deaths of two rural Springfield men last weekend continue to resonate in and around south central Minnesota.
The Brown County Sheriff's Office received a 911 call from Dennis Potter at about 1:40 p.m. Saturday. Units responded to a residence on 410th Avenue, northwest of Springfield, where the bodies of Nathan Scott Potter, 30, and Adam Lloyd Philip Jensen, 23, were found unresponsive inside the home, according to a sheriff's office news release.
One of the men was found in an upstairs hallway, the other on a couch in the family room, according to sheriff's office. The deaths appear to have been caused by carbon monoxide poisoning.
The Springfield Fire Department ventilated the house Saturday afternoon, according to Brown County Sheriff's Office Investigator Leah Krenz. Autopsy results from the Mayo Health Care System, Mankato and a sheriff's office investigation are ongoing.
"The community was shocked at the loss. We're trying to get our arms around it and deal with it. ... We haven't had a tragedy like this before," said Springfield City Administrator Mac Tilberg. "We'll have work hard to get through this, drawing on everyone's strength. Both young men were well respected here. It's been tough on everyone, including the fire department and the city. Nathan was a volunteer firefighter. Our thoughts are with the families."
The men shared passions for farming, football and the outdoors.
Pursuing a degree in ag-business and animal nutrition at South Dakota State University, Jensen worked as an intern at Christensen Farms. He also worked at St. John Lutheran Home and Runnings.
Elected to the 2014 Minnesota Pork Board several weeks ago in Mankato, Potter was president of the Brown County Pork Producers. He studied at Ridgewater College and worked for Potter Family Farms. He was featured in the Minnesota Farm Guide (MFG) several times.
In a story in the February 13, 2013 edition of the MFG, Potter, who produced his own feed on the family farm, described how he updated 45 (pig) feed rations for 2013, making about 8,000 pounds of feed daily with dried distillers grains with solubles (DDGS), corn, soybean meal, lysine and other ingredients.
The Potters independently raise about 2,000 wean-to-finish pigs and grow about 620 acres of corn and soybeans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), carbon monoxide exposure can be prevented by:
Annually servicing heating units, water heaters and any other gas, oil or coal burning appliances by qualified technicians.
Installing battery-operated or battery back-up carbon monoxide (CO) detectors in the home. Batteries should be checked or replaced in fall and spring. If detectors sound, immediately leave the home and call 911.
Seek prompt medical attention if CO poisoning is suspected. Symptoms are feeling dizzy, light-headed, or nauseous. Open doors and windows.
Replace or repair the source of a leak and thoroughly ventilate the residence.
Don't use a generator, charcoal grill, camp stove, or other gasoline or charcoal-burning device inside your home, basement, or garage or near a window.
Don't run a motor vehicle in a garage attached to your residence, even if the garage door is open.
Don't burn anything in a stove or fireplace that isn't vented.
Don't heat a residence with a gas oven.
For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/co/guidelines.htm
(Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org).