Report: Blocked intake may have led to Ohio hotel CO emergency


MARYSVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A blocked fresh-air intake at a hotel pool equipment room may have been to blame for a carbon monoxide buildup that sent more than a dozen people to hospitals more than a week ago, authorities said.

A report by the Ohio state fire marshal’s office said a plastic bag was found over the intake at the Hampton Inn in Marysville during an inspection two days after the Jan. 29 emergency, the Columbus Dispatch reported.

Inspector Bradley Merillat said the blocked intake could create a critical carbon monoxide problem for a natural-gas pool heater or any other device with combustible fuel. He also noted that a carbon monoxide detector wasn’t functioning.

Fire department responders found carbon monoxide levels at or about 1,100 to 1,300 parts per million in the pool area and on the first floor, and concentrations of 600 parts per million on the second floor and 500 parts per million on the third floor, the report said.

Carbon monoxide concentration at such levels “can be lethal if you’re in that setting for too long,” according to Battalion Chief Cole Tomlin with the Marysville Fire Division. He said the situation could have been worse if the leak hadn’t been reported that afternoon and people had gone to sleep for the night.

Memorial Health officials said 11 people — five adults and six children — came to the hospital, two in critical but stable condition and five considered serious but stable. Three other people were taken to OhioHealth Grady Memorial Hospital in Delaware.

A representative of the Hampton Inn Marysville said last weekend that officials were “fully cooperating with the local authorities as they investigate this incident.”

Marysville is about 30 miles northwest of Columbus.