Woman dies with her three dogs in suspected carbon monoxide poisoning in St Ives guest house she ran
A POPULAR St Ives woman has been found dead in her home with her three beloved dogs lying dead nearby in what police and fire officers suspect is a case of carbon monoxide poisoning.
A builder working on an extension at the Treliska guest house on Bedford Road is believed to have found the woman on Tuesday morning and then alerted a close friend and neighbour.
Police and fire crews were called to the terraced property at around 8.45am.
As The Cornishman went to press police were still waiting to confirm the identity of the woman but friends and neighbours have named her as Gill Adams.
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Her husband Mike and son Brett were believed to be working at Mr Adams's sign-making business in Gloucestershire when they were contacted by police.
The news has left people in the town shocked and mourning a friend and neighbour they described as "the most caring woman you could meet".
Lizzie Newbury, who runs the Wheal Sara florist, said: "People always say that, but she was.
"She put everyone before herself and looked after everyone."
Friends say Mrs Adams cooked for and looked in on her elderly neighbours on a daily basis and was the hub of a little community within a community at the bottom of Bedford Road.
Neighbour Ron Watkins said: "There are so many second homes here that there are only eight or nine residents in this part of the street and we're our own little community. I'm so shocked."
One of the most poignant elements of the tragedy is that Mrs Adams's dogs – golden retrievers Amber and Ellie and a King Charles spaniel called Pebbles – were found dead in the house with her.
Close friends Brian and Christine Portman, who were called by Mrs Adams's grown-up son Brett on Tuesday morning to break the news, said the mother of one adored her dogs.
Mr Portman said: "Her life was devoted to the dogs. She used to take in other people's dogs, too. She was always helping others. She used to cook for her 94-year-old neighbour and look after him. She looked after everybody."
Mrs Adams was born in South Africa where she met her husband Mike, whose mother formerly ran the Sunrise guest house in The Warren in St Ives.
The couple lived in South Africa, London and Gloucester before moving to Cornwall, first buying a house in Bedford Road and then taking over the Treliska around eight years ago.
They had been married for more than 40 years and were due to fly out to Florida for a holiday together in March, said Mr Portman, who often helped with breakfasts at the guest house.
"From what I understand, she died of carbon monoxide poisoning in the night," he said. "Her three dogs were dead as well and they've been taken to a vet for examination."
It is believed the Treliska had no guests staying because of the building work going on at the back of the house.
Christine Portman, who used to work for Mrs Adams's mother-in-law at the Sunrise guest house, said: "Brett called me this morning.
"He told me Gill had died and I didn't believe it. She will be sorely missed.
"She was a very caring person and a good friend."
A Cornwall Fire Service spokeswoman said: "A woman and three dogs have died in what is suspected to be an incident of carbon monoxide poisoning.
"The police, Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service and the Health and Safety Executive are now involved in carrying out an investigation."