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Updated: 3:31 p.m. Monday, June 17, 2013 | Posted: 12:15 p.m. Monday, June 17, 2013
BOONE, N.C. —
Officials in Boone said that the water heater that has been blamed for causing three carbon monoxide deaths at the Best Western was replaced sometime after March of 2012.Town planning director Bill Bailey said the hotel replaced the pool water heater without an inspection, because town officials were not aware of the replacement.Bailey said if it had been inspected the tragedy may never have happened. "If we had inspected it the odds are we would not be talking about this now," Bailey said.TIMELINE: 3 deaths at Boone hotelBailey said the heater would not have met the town's codes for the hotel.He said the ventilation for that type of water heater required the exhaust to go out the top of the building not the side near the window for Room 225.Channel 9 also learned a fan used to suck the poisonous gas out the opening was broken. Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson talked about the need for CO2 detectors in every motel room across the state.“We feel the tragedy. It is in our hearts for the families. What has happened to the families is unthinkable,” Clawson said.Community remembers 11-year-old boyHundreds gathered at the First Baptist Church of Rock Hill Sunday to say final goodbyes to an 11-year-old killed just over a week ago.Jeffrey Williams' death, and the death of two others at the hotel have sparked widespread concerns about carbon monoxide in hotels.Now, lawmakers in North and South Carolina are pushing for stronger regulations in the wake of this tragedy.State Rep. Ralph Norman was among those who paid their respects to the family. He's outraged over what he called a senseless tragedy."It's just sad, I mean it's just something that could be avoided," says Norman.Jeffrey was pronounced dead at the scene. His mother was taken to the hospital with serious injuries.Just two months earlier, another couple died from the same poison, after staying in the very same room.The hotel pool water heater was located directly below the room where the three deaths occurred.
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