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How Three People Died Of Carbon Monoxide Poisoning In The Same Motel Room, Six Weeks Apart
consumerist.com ^ | June 13, 2013 | Laura Northrup

Posted on 06/14/2013 5:33:20 PM PDT by grundle

Back in April, an elderly couple died while staying in a Best Western motel in North Carolina. The local medical examiner couldn’t find a clear cause of death. The motel continued renting the room to others until last week, when an 11-year-old boy died and his mother was rushed to the hospital. The cause? Carbon monoxide poisoning from the pool heater.

Here’s the galling part: while waiting for toxicology results, motel management just kept renting out the room to other guests. If management had some something wacky like hold off on renting that room until the results came back, maybe no one else would have died. The Charlotte Observer, hometown newspaper of the 11-year-old, reporters learned that in other jurisdictions, blood tests for carbon monoxide poisoning come back in a matter of hours, not weeks.

The room in question happens to be right over the motel’s mechanical room. Carbon monoxide, a colorless, odorless, deadly gas, seeped into the room through either the air conditioner or the gas fireplace vents. Officials believe that the gas came from the pool heater. Fire codes dictate that new houses built in North Carolina need carbon monoxide detectors, but they’re not required in motels. No staff from the medical examiner’s office visited the scene in April, and local emergency responders don’t carry equipment to detect carbon monoxide.

Blood test results would have showed that the elderly couple in April died of carbon monoxide poisoning. They were kicking off a three-week vacation, but died within hours of each other instead. The family didn’t believe that both parents, who were active and in good health, died of abrupt and simultaneous heart attacks. “Do you know how mad I am right now? Why are they still renting out this room?” their son asked reporters after learning about the child’s death in the same room.

If you happen to have stayed in Room 225 of the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza in Boone, N.C., please contact police at 828-268-6900.


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1 posted on 06/14/2013 5:33:20 PM PDT by grundle
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To: grundle

It won’t bring the three back but I’d sue the h*ll out of the hotel.


2 posted on 06/14/2013 5:37:06 PM PDT by hoosierham (Freedom isn't free)
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To: grundle

Wow, “management” is going to no longer own that hotel.


3 posted on 06/14/2013 5:37:41 PM PDT by glorgau
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To: grundle

CM? Oh okay, we’ll get around to it...


4 posted on 06/14/2013 5:38:37 PM PDT by DoughtyOne (Now playing... [ * * * Manchurian Candidate * * * ], limited engagement, 8 years...)
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To: glorgau

It’s probably owned by a moslem.

Getting back at Christians/Jews like “Sombody we know” does.


5 posted on 06/14/2013 5:40:56 PM PDT by LyinLibs (If victims of islam were more "islamophobic," maybe they'd still be alive.)
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To: grundle

6 posted on 06/14/2013 5:42:13 PM PDT by bigheadfred (barry your mouth is writing checks your ass cant cash)
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To: grundle

I believe they need to hire a new Medical Examiner also.


7 posted on 06/14/2013 5:48:43 PM PDT by Venturer
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To: hoosierham

Out of curiosity, why do you blame the hotel more than the medical examiner. 3 weeks for a 10 minute lab workup on the blood?

And who’s job is it primarily to determine cause of death?

Yes, the hotel is at fault, but I have a lot of issues with the M.E. here.


8 posted on 06/14/2013 5:50:42 PM PDT by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: LyinLibs

This motel management has a bright future working in the government. Ignorance and a lack of common sense are a must in DC.


9 posted on 06/14/2013 5:52:11 PM PDT by peeps36 (America is being destroyed by filthy traitors in the political establishment)
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To: grundle

I’ll bet that the owner of the hotel is from India.


10 posted on 06/14/2013 5:58:12 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Inside every liberal and WOD defender is a totalitarian screaming to get out.)
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To: Blood of Tyrants

>>I’ll bet that the owner of the hotel is from India.

Best Western is owned by Indians?


11 posted on 06/14/2013 6:02:46 PM PDT by expat1000
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To: SampleMan

3 weeks for a 10 minute lab workup on the blood?..Oh, gee. Cherry red when you brought them in? We need a full NCIS here.


12 posted on 06/14/2013 6:05:51 PM PDT by Safetgiver ( Islam makes barbarism look genteel.)
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To: grundle
Here’s the galling part: while waiting for toxicology results, motel management just kept renting out the room to other guests.

Why shouldn't they? As far as they knew it was heart attacks that killed the first couple. Having a couple die within a bit of each other is unusual but not unknown.

13 posted on 06/14/2013 6:10:25 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: hoosierham

And they will sue the pool maintenance contractor. Three people died and one was 11 years old who had his whole life in front of him only to be stolen by someone looking to squeeze the bottom line.

The only true punishment for total disregard from human life is for management to stay the night in room 225.


14 posted on 06/14/2013 6:14:25 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

Yea Right! I hear room 226 is available, want to give it try?


15 posted on 06/14/2013 6:17:26 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: Orange1998
I know it is hard but try to stop emoting and start thinking.

Do you have any proof that they knew anything was wrong with the room?

They were told their customers died of heart attacks. Heart attacks are not transmissible.

But you are ready to commit murder for what was not even a mistake but just a confluence of circumstances.

Perhaps it is time to have your moral compass checked.

16 posted on 06/14/2013 6:33:28 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: grundle
Here’s the galling part: while waiting for toxicology results, motel management just kept renting out the room to other guests. If management had some something wacky like hold off on renting that room until the results came back, maybe no one else would have died.

That is an unwarranted conclusion. It's not as if carbon monoxide asphyxiation via pool heater is a common cause of death. I've never heard of anything like this before. Another possibility is that they either died of natural causes simultaneously or committed suicide via some difficult to detect means.

17 posted on 06/14/2013 6:34:43 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear

Two fatal arrhythmias, no chest pain or shortness of breath, no waking up, no waking up when the spouse dies.

Nope.


18 posted on 06/14/2013 6:37:16 PM PDT by heartwood
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To: peeps36
This motel management has a bright future working in the government. Ignorance and a lack of common sense are a must in DC.

I think the ignorance is on the part of the hyperventilating writer. Death by pool heater is not a common event. Until this Consumerist writer typed up this asinine column, I had never heard of such a thing.

19 posted on 06/14/2013 6:39:03 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

I’ve heard of pool heaters and driveway heaters killing people with CO. When two healthy people die in the same room at the same time, without evidence of violence or suicide, look for an environmental cause.


20 posted on 06/14/2013 6:39:23 PM PDT by heartwood
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To: grundle

It gets way worse.

http://www.newsobserver.com/2013/06/14/2964720/three-days-after-2-died-at-boone.html

Young girls in a room directly above 225 became ill three days later, nausea and headaches. Mother called desk three times.

Must have been food poisoning.


21 posted on 06/14/2013 6:43:30 PM PDT by heartwood
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To: grundle

Oh it gets WAY worse. Medical examiner found lethal levels of CO in Mrs Jenkins’s blood a week before the boy died, but he didn’t inform the motel and the proper authorities.

http://www.journalnow.com/news/local/article_e6ca52fa-d533-11e2-b2e9-0019bb30f31a.html

He’s resigned now.


22 posted on 06/14/2013 6:47:03 PM PDT by heartwood
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To: heartwood
It would not be common for sure but that is how the medical examiner ruled.

What was the hotel suppose to do?

Consult a crystal ball?

If they want to sue the medical examiner for being incompetent then fine. There is some responsibility there.

But should a hotel never rent out a room where someone died ever again?

You are going to have to shut down most of Las Vegas.

23 posted on 06/14/2013 6:49:02 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: heartwood
Oh it gets WAY worse. Medical examiner found lethal levels of CO in Mrs Jenkins’s blood a week before the boy died, but he didn’t inform the motel and the proper authorities.

That's extreme negligence on the part of the ME.

24 posted on 06/14/2013 6:49:35 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
It would not be common for sure but that is how the medical examiner ruled. What was the hotel suppose to do? Consult a crystal ball?

The lesson here is that when checking into a motel, BYOCOD (i.e. bring your own CO detector).

25 posted on 06/14/2013 6:52:22 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

I’ll tuck one in my sleep sack bag.


26 posted on 06/14/2013 6:55:02 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: Zhang Fei

Holiday Inn Glen Ellyn, Il.
A young sailor and new bride, one dead one forever damaged.
Drywall screws too long and flue too close to the to the drywall.


27 posted on 06/14/2013 6:56:11 PM PDT by DUMBGRUNT (The best is the enemy of the good!)
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To: expat1000

Well, not EVERY Best Western obviously... but the franchises...


28 posted on 06/14/2013 6:59:54 PM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: Zhang Fei

Right, because it is far more likely that a couple taking a long vacation committed suicide by undetectable means rather than SOMETHING MIGHT BE WRONG WITH THE ROOM.


29 posted on 06/14/2013 7:02:29 PM PDT by autumnraine (America how long will you be so deaf and dumb to thoe tumbril wheels carrying you to the guillotine?)
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To: LyinLibs

Care to wager on that? I’ll take Hindus from India. With a last name of Patel.


30 posted on 06/14/2013 7:02:43 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: expat1000; Blood of Tyrants

I’ll bet Best Western doesn’t own the property.


31 posted on 06/14/2013 7:04:56 PM PDT by PAR35
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To: autumnraine
Right, because it is far more likely that a couple taking a long vacation committed suicide by undetectable means rather than SOMETHING MIGHT BE WRONG WITH THE ROOM.

People die of natural causes in motel rooms all the time, especially elderly ones. Unless the ME tells them otherwise, there's no reason to think that the room is haunted by poltergeists or a portal to killer aliens from another galaxy.

32 posted on 06/14/2013 7:08:35 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: PAR35
Care to wager on that? I’ll take Hindus from India. With a last name of Patel.

Best Westerns are less likely owned by Indians, from my experience, and that involves extensive travel all over the US on a fairly frequent basis. I'll wager Christians from the South, instead. Apparently other BWs have had similar incidents happen, in the same geography too, so it seems to not be as rare an occurrence as one would be led to believe.

33 posted on 06/14/2013 7:14:31 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: expat1000
I think a lot of those chains are franchises.

Wanted to check my answer before I posted it so I looked it up in FAQ's:

Does Best Western franchise?

No. Best Western is a membership association of independently owned and operated hotels. Each hotelier is entitled to valuable benefits as a Best Western member and each has a voice in the operation of the company. For more information on becoming a Best Western member, visit the About Us section of our site.
Not sure what difference there is between a franchise and a "membership association of independent owners" but the it's the same thing regarding the OP's point, IMO.
34 posted on 06/14/2013 7:15:58 PM PDT by schm0e ("we are in the midst of a coup.")
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To: PAR35
Based on the response to a Trip Advisor complaint from hotel staff, my guess is that this is either locally-owned or a corporate property:

We booked our room at this Best Western at least five months before our arrival and we still found ourselves in a room with a view of the garbage cans at the rear of the hotel. The room was clean and comfortable but the TV was positioned at the foot of the bed rather than in the seating area. However, our experience was spoiled when it all went pear shaped at breakfast the following morning when there was very food little available. Apparently the hotel had been very busy the previous day and the food stocks had not been replenished in time for our breakfast. Coffee was also missing. I overheard the member of staff working the breakfast area be dismissive to another client who questioned the lack of food and when I made a complaint to the front desk did not receive an apology but rather the litany of excuses all offered with a laugh. Not the best customer service., Oh and the toilet didn't work properly in our room. « less

Management response from
Sonya Newberry, Front Office Manager

Dear Guest,

All of us here at the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza sincerely apologize for not meeting your expectations during your visit to our hotel. We value your feedback and we will work harder to make sure that these problems do not occur again. We are already ordering extra breakfast items to insure that we do not run low during breakfast hours anymore. Again we apologize and we hope to see you again soon!

Natasha Taylor
Front Desk Manager
Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza « hide


35 posted on 06/14/2013 7:18:20 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Zhang Fei

Natasha Taylor is a common Hindu name.

Or is it?


36 posted on 06/14/2013 7:22:58 PM PDT by James C. Bennett (An Australian.)
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To: PAR35

You’re right, owner is probably Indian.

They’re so cheap, they probably figure they’ve hit the jackpot since dead guests cannot dispute the credit card charges after the Indian owner wheels them out after only a half-day.


37 posted on 06/14/2013 7:32:34 PM PDT by LyinLibs (If victims of islam were more "islamophobic," maybe they'd still be alive.)
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To: bigheadfred

Good old 80’s horror flick. Reminds me of my youth.


38 posted on 06/14/2013 8:00:01 PM PDT by BBell (And Now for Something Completely Different)
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To: Zhang Fei
Death by pool heater is not a common event.

That's not true. Remember the tennis player who was visiting friends in Long Island. Same thing happened. He was sleeping out by the pool.

The probability of two related people in the same room dying of heart attacks is very low. Anybody with half a brain would look for an environmental factor.

39 posted on 06/14/2013 8:11:19 PM PDT by ladyjane (For the first time in my life I am not proud of my country.)
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To: Zhang Fei

FYI

Vitas Gerulaitis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Vitas Gerulaitis at the 1978 ABN World Tennis Tournament .... While visiting a friend’s home in Southampton, Long Island, a malfunction in an improperly installed pool heater caused carbon monoxide gas to seep into the guesthouse where ...


40 posted on 06/14/2013 8:14:38 PM PDT by ladyjane (For the first time in my life I am not proud of my country.)
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To: ladyjane

This is the reason for building codes and Master Plumbers.
I hope the fool in AR that had his Brother-in-law hook their’s up at a local motel in hopes of saving on the estimate reads this!


41 posted on 06/14/2013 8:27:50 PM PDT by Conserev1 ("Still Clinging to my Bible and my Weapon")
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To: Harmless Teddy Bear
1. Do you have any proof that they knew anything was wrong with the room?

YES, a couple in good health died unexpectedly.

2. They were told their customers died of heart attacks. Heart attacks are not transmissible.

WOW you just contradicted yourself "Heart attacks are not transmissible". Under your theory it's only transmissible between husband and wife so nothing to investigate. ROFLMAO!

3. But you are ready to commit murder for what was not even a mistake but just a confluence of circumstances.

Confluence of circumstances? Interesting comment. Somehow it all coalesce to create the result? OK... but WRONG. We have the facts and you are flat out wrong but hey you gained 10 days of room rent and left the light on for next guest. How nice of you.

4. Perhaps it is time to have your moral compass checked.

Moral Compass checked? Come on, you are one willing to keep renting out the room without all the facts. Heart Attacks were only assumption not the facts. Three other guest unexpectedly vomit with headaches and management notified. And you call out moral compass on others.

42 posted on 06/14/2013 9:28:50 PM PDT by Orange1998
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To: ladyjane
That's not true. Remember the tennis player who was visiting friends in Long Island. Same thing happened. He was sleeping out by the pool.

The world "common" means it occurs frequently. Frequently generally means more than once or twice a year in a population of 300m people. It also means that this type of death is universally known. For instance, motel pool drownings are common, and occur on a monthly basis. A simple Google search unearthed a large number of distinct listings for motel pool drownings, whereas a similar search for motel pool heater deaths unearthed the same incidents over and over.

43 posted on 06/14/2013 9:47:37 PM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: Orange1998
YES, a couple in good health died unexpectedly.

Wow! I never realized that you gave your health history to the hotel.

WOW you just contradicted yourself "Heart attacks are not transmissible". Under your theory it's only transmissible between husband and wife so nothing to investigate. ROFLMAO!

I am going to assume that you are having a bit of a reading comprehension problem. I never said they were transmissible between husbands and wives. That delusion is yours.

Confluence of circumstances? Interesting comment. Somehow it all coalesce to create the result? OK... but WRONG. We have the facts and you are flat out wrong but hey you gained 10 days of room rent and left the light on for next guest. How nice of you.

You really do have a reading problem, You have yet to produce a single fact that the hotel know there was anything wrong with the room.

If you care to read you will find that the medical examiner did do the test BUT NEVER INFORMED THE HOTEL.

Moral Compass checked? Come on, you are one willing to keep renting out the room without all the facts. Heart Attacks were only assumption not the facts.

The diagnosis of heart attack came from the ME. To the hotel it was fact because they never heard otherwise. Or are you saying that the hotel should have performed the autopsy?

Three other guest unexpectedly vomit with headaches and management notified. And you call out moral compass on others.

What facts? Do you have any? There is that reading comprehension problem again. A group of 13 year-old girls after stuffing themselves with pizza and ice cream get sick. Even the chaperon thought it was food poisoning. Do you know how often people get food poisoning while staying in hotels?

You are saying that the hotel had all their guest's health history and a medical examiner on staff. You do realize that this was a hotel not a hospital right?

A HOSPITAL is a place where DOCTORS do diagnosis of illnesses. They tell you all sorts of interesting things like why people died.

A HOTEL is a place where they rent you a ROOM.

They are not the same thing.

44 posted on 06/14/2013 10:01:10 PM PDT by Harmless Teddy Bear (Revenge is a dish best served with pinto beans and muffins)
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To: Safetgiver
Cherry red when you brought them in?

As a Medical Technologist, that's exactly what I was thinking! The appearance of the blood should have caused the medical personnel to suspect CO poisoning before any quantitative test was even done. The fact that an eleven year old boy died in the same room is a terrible tragedy and was completely avoidable. I think our society is way too litigious, but this is one case that certainly should be the subject of a lawsuit! It will not bring this mother's son back, but the owners of the hotel should be held to account for their negligence.

45 posted on 06/14/2013 11:04:16 PM PDT by srmorton (Deut. 30 19: "..I have set before you life and death,....therefore, choose life..")
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To: srmorton
As a Medical Technologist, that's exactly what I was thinking! The appearance of the blood should have caused the medical personnel to suspect CO poisoning before any quantitative test was even done. It will not bring this mother's son back, but the owners of the hotel should be held to account for their negligence.

The negligence isn't on the part of the motel owners. I'm sure they will be sued, but I suspect the pool maintenance company's insurance will end up footing the bill.

46 posted on 06/15/2013 4:40:39 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: ladyjane

By the way, thanks for the item on Gerulaitis. I had wondered what happened to him. We hear of McEnroe, Conners and Borg (who seems to have had the Star Trek androids named after him) every so often, but Gerulaitis seemed to have disappeared. Now I know why.


47 posted on 06/15/2013 4:40:57 AM PDT by Zhang Fei (Let us pray that peace be now restored to the world and that God will preserve it always.)
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To: grundle
Isn't the placement of the hotel's mechanical room a problem? I'd think someone analyzing things would've considered that.

One thing I avoid is those hotels with the indoor pool in an atrium surrounded by the hotel. A lot of motels now have their indoor pool in an attached room off to the side...it's a much better idea.

48 posted on 06/15/2013 4:48:01 AM PDT by grania
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To: srmorton
As I'm reading this I'm wondering how many deaths happen because of environmental factors in hotels and cruise ships. If it weren't for the death of that boy, no one would've known the cause of the death of that couple.

I'm thinking that in the future I'll be only renting rooms where I can get some fresh air in it through a window or patio door.

49 posted on 06/15/2013 4:55:44 AM PDT by grania
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To: Zhang Fei
The negligence isn't on the part of the motel owners.

You are correct about that! Someone posted an article later in the thread that stated the ME had the toxicology report for two weeks and had not informed the hotel that the results indicated that the older couple had died of CO poisoning. That truly IS criminal!

50 posted on 06/15/2013 5:26:47 AM PDT by srmorton (Deut. 30 19: "..I have set before you life and death,....therefore, choose life..")
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