by Madison V. Fisler
Sept. 23, 2013. Contractors, both licensed and unlicensed, could be facing legal action after the conclusion of the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors’ investigation into the case of the carbon monoxide-related deaths in room 225 of the Boone Best Western Hotel.
The investigation came after three people died and one hospitalized after staying in room 225. The deaths were later attributed to carbon monoxide poisoning from staying in the same room which was located above a equipment room housing the pool’s water heater.
When Daryl, 73, and Shirley Jenkins, 72, died together in room 225 on April 16, and later Jeffrey Williams, 11, in June in the same room, hotels in North Carolina were not required to have carbon monoxide detectors. The hotel reopened and began taking reservations again in July.
Dale Dawson, the director of the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors, said Monday that the Board’s investigation had indeed been completed, and the information had been handed over to the Board’s attorney.
He also confirmed that the State Board of Examiners of Plumbing, Heating and Fire Sprinkler Contractors’ investigation had shared information with the Boone Police Department during their investigation as well.
“We are involved in the administrative and licensure side of the investigation,” Dawson said.
Though Dawson said that he was unable to talk about who was being investigated, he did explain the process for licensed and unlicensed contractors under investigation.
“If it is an unlicensed person, we would seek action in court against them, which would include an injunction from a judge keeping them from continuing to do unlicensed work, and we have the authority to do criminal prosecution, which would be a misdemeanor, or we can do the injunctive relief order” Dawson said. “If they are licensed, we would send them through a disciplinary process.”
This investigation, now completed, has now been handed over to the Board’s attorney.
Andy Le Beau, Captain of Police Operations with Boone Police Department said that the police department was working with the Board of Examiners initially in the investigation during the testing phase, and at this point the Boone Police Department is working on their own part of the investigation.
According to Le Beau, the Boone Police Department hopes to complete their investigation into the case by next month.