“…broken exhaust fans in the building’s boiler room allowed the room to fill with carbon monoxide…a guest staying (next to boiler room) was hospitalized for similar (flu-like) symptoms…but no one made the connection to carbon monoxide exposure, and the guest was not tested…firefighters suspect the carbon monoxide level was high since Friday or earlier…”
Guests at a south Fort Myers hotel may have been exposed to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide at least three days before the building was evacuated Monday. Firefighters responded to Crestwood Suites Extended Lodging off U.S. 41 around 12:45 p.m. Monday and discovered high levels of the deadly gas.
Guests were allowed back inside after firefighters shut off the gas and ventilated the building, but two people were hospitalized for exposure. The two hospitalized guests, who were staying near the boiler room, are in good condition and were hospitalized for observation as a precaution, Knudsen said.
Knudsen said firefighters checked carbon monoxide levels after the two guests called Lee County EMS complaining of flu-like symptoms. Responding firefighters noticed the guests’ proximity to the boiler room and suspected their symptoms were caused by an environmental factor.
Firefighters measured the carbon monoxide level in the boiler room at 2,000 parts per million, and in the lobby at 300 parts per million. Exposure to anything above 600 parts per million carries a high risk of death, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances & Disease Registry website. Patients can experience symptoms including drowsiness, weakness, nausea, headaches and coma at levels of 160 to 1,000.