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Control of Best Western Reverts Back to Management, Closed To Public Until Water Heater Problems Addressed

By Jesse Wood

June 13, 2013. On Thursday morning, Sgt. Shane Robbins, public information officer for the Boone Police Department, said that control of the Best Western in Boone, where three people died in the past three months from carbon monoxide poisoning, reverted back to owners/operators this morning with some restrictions.

A scene of Best Western from two days ago when the hotel was under control of authorities. Photo by Ken Ketchie
A scene of Best Western from two days ago when the hotel was under control of authorities. Photo by Ken Ketchie

As for those specific restrictions Robbins deferred to Todd Miller, a building inspector with Boone Planning & Inspections.

As of Thursday afternoon, Miller said that his office has condemned the pool area, the adjacent men’s bathroom and the upstairs guest room, where all three deaths occurred because of the concentration of carbon monoxide in Room 225.

The deadly room is situated directly above a mechanical room that houses the pool water heater, which had numerous deficiencies and wasn’t maintained properly, according to Boone Fire Chief Jimmy Isaacs.

Even though control of the facility is in the hands of the management, plenty of work needs to be done before the hotel can accept lodgers again.

Miller said that the gas to the hotel is still turned off.

“So they don’t have hot water. They can’t do laundry and things like that, and the health department is not going to give their OK until that happens. [The pool water heater] needs to have some work done on it before things are safe [for them to be] allowed to turn the gas back on,” Miller said.

Asked for specifics on what needs to be repaired, Miller was reluctant to say – other than that problems with the pool heater needed to be addressed.

Asked for any sort of timeline, Miller said that, pursuant to state laws, any work to be done would have to be performed by licensed contractors and applied for through Boone Planning and Inspections.

“At this point, they have not done so,” Miller said. 

Click here for more stories and background into the carbon monoxide deaths at the Best Western.