Faulty Pool Heater Exhaust Vent Proves Fatal

Cailley Hammel Headshot

Last summer, tragedy struck at a Best Western Hotel in Boone, N.C. when carbon monoxide fatally poisoned three people. The culprit? The swimming pool heater, which had a faulty exhaust pipe β€” riddled with holes and supported by a VHS tape and a hotel ice bucket β€” that leaked the gas directly into room 225.

Daryl Jenkins, 73, and Shirley Jenkins, 72, were the first victims β€” yet when authorities noted the couple died of natural causes, room 225 was opened six weeks later. Jeannie Williams and her 11-year-old son checked into room 225 and quickly began experiencing nausea. Jeannie Williams later woke up in a hospital; her son passed away. 

However, there were other signs something was wrong. Serene Solinski checked into the Best Western three days after the Jenkins’ death for a birthday party for her daughter β€” in particular, room 325, one floor above the room in which the Jenkins died. As the festivities progressed, all nine girls fell ill, experiencing nausea and vomiting. While Solinski says she notified the front desk about the sudden bout of illness, hotel management claims they never learned of the incident. 

To learn more about the story, check out this β€œ20/20” report. And, as always, exercise caution while on the job β€” lives could depend on it. 

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