WESTMINSTER, Colo. -- They call it “the silent killer” and one Westminster mom knows all too well why. She did what no parent ever wants to do: bury her daughter, a victim of carbon monoxide poisoning.
Now it’s her mission to make sure no parent has to go through what she has.
25-year-old Ashley Fritz’s room sits untouched, as if she’ll be home at any moment. Her jewelry still sparkles on the walls, and stuffed animals sit on the shelves. But it’s been nearly four months since the last time Ashley laid her head on her pillow.
“I lost Ashley December 24th, the hardest day of my life,” said her mother, Retta Masloff.
Masloff wasn’t home. Ashley was doing what many 25-year-olds do, gabbing away with her friends on the phone.
“When she could not find her wall charger, she went to do the next thing that we all do, we get our car charger and she went to our vehicle and plugged it in,” Masloff said.
Sitting in a truck in the garage of her Westminster home, Ashley turned the vehicle on.
“Ashley didn’t know what hit her, she fell asleep,” said Masloff.
It didn’t take long for the garage to fill with carbon monoxide. Clear, odorless, and deadly.
“I cry many times in a day, but as I do cry I tell Ashley - you have to allow me to cry, because I miss you, every day. I miss that I don’t have her,” Masloff said.
Now she’s using her grief to gain strength to spread the word about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning, and encourage everyone to have detectors installed in their homes.
“ In my doing this I know that somebody will have their carbon monoxide monitors where they need to be, they will go off, they will sound that alarm, somebody’s life will be saved. I truly believe that,” said Masloff.
Everywhere she goes she spreads her message. And for every person she tells, she hopes they tell someone else and no one will ever face the senseless loss she deals with every day.
“Tell others, share with others. I believe that not just one life, many lives will be saved. And for me, then Ashley’s death would not have been in vain,” Masloff said.