Hotel carbon monoxide leak kills child, sickens others

Authorities say a carbon monoxide leak at a southwestern MI hotel has killed a child and sickened about a dozen other people, including other children and several police officers.

Bryan Douglas Watts, 13, was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital after the incident at the Quality Inn & Suites in Niles, southwestern MI.

Six boys and one girl, all between the ages of 12 and 14, two first responders and two members of the hotel staff required treatment.

"The ventilation system on the heater had issues, the exhaust was not functioning properly", said Niles Fire Department Captain Don Wise. Each room has to be checked for carbon monoxide and ventilated and the Health Department has to sign off before it can reopen.

The victims, which included a few emergency responders, were rescued from Quality Inn & Suites, 1265 S. 11th St.

Carbon monoxide levels taken in the hotel were 16 times the safe limit.

"I couldn't even see them breathing", she recalled. "I was out of the pool and I passed out and I hit my head".

"To have six youths, that just takes it into a whole different category".

Another child, who police said had just left the pool area, was found unresponsive in a first-floor room. "I hope I never have one of these again", Wise said. Lakeland Hospital said four law enforcement officers were treated and released on Saturday.

The hotel will remain closed for a few days while crews work to fix the pool heater.

There was no carbon monoxide detector in the pool area.

Choice Hotels, which owns Quality Inn, said in a statement it is "working closely with local officials to manage the situation".

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