Barbecue warning after girl's Good Friday campsite death


Police today warned of the dangers of leaving barbecues in tents after a six-year-old girl died from carbon monoxide poisoning while camping with her family.

Isabelle Harris died in hospital on Good Friday after falling ill at the Holmsley campsite at Bransgore in the New Forest, Hampshire.

At an inquest in Bournemouth today, a coroner recorded a verdict of accidental death after it was found that Isabelle, from Gosport, Hants, died as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The hearing heard that a coal briquette-fuelled barbecue was brought inside the family tent to keep the youngster warm on a very cold night.

Detective Inspector John Geden, who led the investigation, said many people were unaware of the dangers of barbecues in confined spaces.

"This is an extremely tragic case in which a six-year-old child lost her life during a family camping trip," he said after the hearing.

"The cause of her death has been determined as carbon monoxide poisoning through the inhalation of fumes from burning charcoal, emitted by the family's barbecue.

"Isabelle was very much adored and cared for, and her loss is devastating to her parents and wider family.

"As we have heard today, Isabelle succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning after a coal briquette-fuelled barbecue was brought inside the family tent to keep her warm on a very cold night.

"Tragically, many are not aware of the significant risk from carbon monoxide this poses, and our message to all is a very simple one: please do not take barbecues indoors at all.

"If we can stop one more family from having to go through this terrible experience, then Isabelle's death will not have been in vain."

Shortly after midnight on April 6 Isabelle had been found "unresponsive" in the tent.

Her parents, Lee, 30, and Tracey, 40, and then paramedics attempted resuscitation and she was taken by ambulance to Southampton General Hospital but was pronounced dead on arrival at 1.16am.

Following the youngster's death, Mr and Mrs Harris were arrested on suspicion of murder but were released the same day without charge after a post-mortem examination ruled out foul play.

At the time of her death, the couple released a statement that said they were devastated at the loss of the youngster who they described as "our whole world".

"No words are strong enough to describe how we feel at the moment. Isabelle was our whole world; everything we ever did was for her," it said.

"She was a really special girl and this is a huge loss to everyone who knew her."