In a hauntingly familiar scenario, carbon monoxide is being blamed for the poisoning of at least two dozen people over the weekend at a Best Western hotel near Scranton, Pa.
One person is still being treated, according to WNEP TV in Scranton . The hotel, located in Dunmore in the northeastern part of the state, was evacuated Sunday. The TV station said inspectors believe a furnace and pool heater could be the source of the gas.
A year ago, three people died of carbon monoxide poisoning at the Best Western in Boone. Investigators traced the leak to the hotel’s swimming pool water heating system. On Sunday, the Observer reported that problems with the system likely date back to the hotel’s original construction in 2000.
In response to the deaths, the N.C. General Assembly passed a law requiring carbon monoxide alarms near heaters, appliances and fireplaces that burn combustion fuels. The law applies to extended-stay tourist homes, bed and breakfast properties, as well as hotels.
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The parents of 11-year-old Jeffrey Williams, who died last June at the Boone Best Western, are pushing for carbon monoxide alarms in every guest room.
Detectors are not required in Pennsylvania, according to news reports, and there were none at the Best Western in Dunmore.