White said he did not know about the previous repairman, and identified Premier Pools as the company that installed the unit.
"We got receipts of work done so we know who's done what," White said.
Combs said his company never touched the exhaust pipe and did nothing to the heater that could have dislodged it.
"I can't see any way what we did would have caused a problem," Combs said.
Premier Pools has done plenty of work around Charleston and has always received the necessary permits, he said.
"If I know something needs a permit, I go and get it," said Combs, who called the work at the Holiday Inn Express a routine job.
"When I say routine, I don't mean to downplay the tragedy that happened," he said. "We were finishing something some other guy started before we got there."
After installing the filter, Combs said his company did not test for the presence of carbon monoxide after switching on the unit.
Two weeks before
On Jan. 21, about two weeks before the fatal leak, the South Charleston Fire Department was dispatched to the hotel because a fire alarm.
When they got there, White said, firefighters determined that condensation from the swimming pool set off the alarm.
Last week, a Randolph County woman wrote to InterContinental Hotels Group, the corporation that owns Holiday Inn Express, expressing concern about her stay at the hotel.
Lori Burnside of Montrose and her friend said fire alarms went off multiple times on Jan. 21. The women feared the alarms were triggered by carbon monoxide as hotel staff opened doors to ventilate the pool.
"The thing that stuck in my mind was the [front desk clerk] acknowledged there was a problem with the pool and that the problem was causing the alarm to go off," Burnside told the Gazette last week.
White said condensation from swimming pools frequently set off fire alarms. Fire alarms do not detect the presence of carbon monoxide and the hotel does not have any carbon monoxide detectors, he said.
"When condensation builds up from heat like steam, it mimics smoke," he said.
He said firefighters did not test for carbon monoxide during their investigation into the activated alarms.
"None of that was a factor," he said.
White said he expects the investigation to be completed within the next few weeks.
Reach Travis Crum at travis.c...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.