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Child killed, 12 people injured by carbon monoxide in MI motel

03 April 2017

A broken pool heater caused a carbon monoxide leak that killed one child and injured several others at a MI hotel.

Hotel workers at the Quality Inn and Suites in Niles, Michigan called local authorities around 10 a.m. local time Saturday morning after they noticed several children lying unconscious near the hotel's indoor pool area.

Jessica Hines, a spokeswoman for Lakeland Hospital in Niles, told CNN that one other person was "confirmed dead on arrival".

The Niles Police Department has identified the deceased 13-year-old boy as Bryan Douglas Watts of Niles.

Police confirm 13 people total needed treatment, including six children between the ages of 10 and 14 that were found unconscious. "So, all the responders took a little more risk, but we had to get those kids out and into fresh air for their best chance of survival", said Capt. Don Wise with the Niles City Fire Department.

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According to WNDU, the CO levels were later determined to be 16 times the safe limit.

Officials said carbon monoxide detectors immediately detected toxic levels of the odorless gas in the pool room when they first went in and they were able to pull the children out as they were leaving the room.

"That's an extreme danger level", Wise told reporters. Arriving firefighters found the highest concentrations at 800 parts per million when they first entered the pool area and opened doors to ventilate the area.

While emergency responses were evacuating the building, a seventh child in a first-floor room was found to be not breathing.

Officials said a pool heater is to blame, according to WNDU. When too much carbon monoxide is in the air, it can replace the oxygen in red blood cells and can lead to tissue damage or death.