A man arrived to work in his burger van to find his mum and sister had died while putting birthday decorations up for him.
Tyla Wanstall, who runs the Meat ‘N’ Greet Snack Wagon, in Whitstable, Kent, made the tragic discovery on Tuesday morning.
Leah Churchill, 50, and Brooke Wanstall, 17, had spent the night putting up balloons and bunting for Tyla’s 26th birthday.
It is believed they died of carbon monoxide poisoning but this is yet to be confirmed.
Tyla thinks the gas leaked after his mum put the petrol generator on to keep her and Brooke warm.
Although the generator is kept outside during work hours, Tyla locks it inside the van at night for security reasons.
He told KentOnline about how he initially thought his mum and sister had fallen asleep when he discovered them.
He said: ‘I smelt fumes but it just didn’t register straight away, but it became obvious they were both dead.
‘It’s heart-breaking to think they spent their last few moments just trying to put a smile on my face.’
He described his mum, who worked in hospitality, as a ‘kind woman who would do anything for anyone’.
She leaves behind two other children – a 23-year-old daughter Ocean and a 12-year-old son Sonny.
Tyla said his little sister Brooke, who worked as a carer, was a ‘live-wire with a huge personality’.
He added: ‘She had her whole life in front of her. I don’t know how we’re ever going to get over this.’
Tyla wants the tragedy to serve as a warning to others about the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The family have planned to pay tribute to the mum and daughter with a balloon release at Herne Bay beach at 5pm on Wednesday.
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