A Gun Barrel City couple say fumes created by a chemical released when heated during the cleaning of their new Frigidaire oven is responsible for the death of two dear pet parrots.
“It was just a very traumatic thing,” said Linda Rigo.
Tuesday morning on New Year’s day, both Rigo's blue and gold macaws died. Her husband, John, noticed an odor. He says there were fumes coming from the oven.
“I noticed too that my eyes started burning. In fact right now they are,” said John.
The smell still lingers. We've learned that when their teflon-coated oven heated up, it produced a fume that is deadly to birds. The Rigos have had Mickey and Minnie for 24 and 17 years respectively.
“You make sure there are no animals nearby and no children nearby because what you may be doing is killing your loved one liked our loved ones got taken away yesterday,” said John.
There is a manufacturer's warning for the Frigidaire oven that reads "the health of some birds is extremely sensitive to the fumes." John wishes that warning was louder than the small fine print.
“They did just enough to think they can get by legally,” said John.
Alan Garrison is the owner at Pet Warehouse in Mabank. He's heard this happen before.
“They have very delicate respiratory systems. Most people just aren't aware of it,” said Garrison.
There are two perches sitting empty in the Rigo home. But they're coming out to warn everyone of the risk, not just for animals but for young ones and the elderly.
The experts at the North Texas Poison Center say "....people with asthma and respiratory issues should leave the house during the cleaning. Although Teflon is safe under ordinary circumstances, when it is heated to 600 degrees F, breathing the fumes can cause chills, fever, profuse sweating, cough, flu-like symptoms and chest tightness."
“I just hope nobody has to go through this tragedy because it is a tragedy for us,” said Linda.
The Rigos have no plans to get any other birds.