TRUCKEE — Manslaughter charges were filed Monday against a local contractor whose negligence led to the carbon monoxide-caused deaths of two men last fall, according to the Nevada County District Attorney’s Office.
The bodies of Albert Senzatimore, 69, of San Jose, and Gary Trovinger, 57, of Los Gatos, were found inside Trovinger’s home at 13600 Weisshorn Avenue in Tahoe Donner on Oct. 26, 2013, according to previous reports.
A Truckee Police Department investigation determined Trovinger hired 41-year-old Kurt Schoemig — president of Truckee-based Cedar Ridge Builders — to work on the house last year, according to a news release from the DA’s office.
An employee of Schoemig’s cut a furnace exhaust pipe as part of the work, the investigation revealed. Schoemig never finished the project, leaving the pipe to vent into the home when the heater came on.
Prior to their Oct. 26 visit to Truckee, Trovinger and Senzatimore turned the furnace on remotely with a cellphone application, according to the DA’s office. They died shortly after entering the home due to overexposure to carbon monoxide.
Two counts of involuntary manslaughter were filed against Schoemig, who reportedly had not applied for a building permit with the town.
When reached by phone Monday morning, Schoemig declined to comment for this story.
“Schoemig played a substantial factor in causing these deaths,” Nevada County Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson said in a statement. “It is a shame he did not pull a permit as required by law, as this tragedy was avoidable.”
A phone message to Ferguson seeking further comment for this story was not immediately returned.
Officials in November said the incident likely would have been prevented if the home had a carbon monoxide detector installed.
Kevin MacMillan is the managing editor of the Sierra Sun, a sister publication to The Union.