CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- As investigators prepare to release a report into a fatal carbon monoxide leak at a South Charleston hotel, one company is denying its alleged involvement in installing a swimming pool heater linked to the leak.
South Charleston fire Capt. Virgil White said he would release a report Friday into how an exhaust pipe leading from the swimming pool heater became dislodged at the Holiday Inn Express on Corridor G.
Since the leak, the hotel has installed carbon monoxide detectors throughout the hotel, White said.
White's investigation has focused on two Charleston-based companies, Premier Pools, and J.P. Mechanical, an HVAC installation and repair company. Both companies oversaw the installation and replacement of the unit, White said.
John Providenti, owner of J.P. Mechanical, inspected the hotel's old swimming pool heater in the middle of December and recommended it be replaced, White said. Providenti shut off power to the unit and closed access to the pool.
The hotel then called Premier Pools, of Charleston, to install a $1,200 replacement unit sometime before Christmas, White said.
Sometime during the heater's initial inspection and installation, someone bumped into an exhaust pipe leading to the hotel's roof, leaking carbon monoxide throughout four floors of the hotel, he said.
On Jan. 31, Rhode Island engineering contractor William Moran, 44, was found dead in his room and his roommate, Bain Edmondson, 47, was found in critical condition. At least 17 others, including one South Charleston police officer, were injured upon breathing the tasteless, odorless gas -- which was metered at about 20 times the safe level, investigators said.
Steve Combs, manager of Premier Pools, told the Gazette last week the hotel called him to take over the job for another man, who quit shortly after installing the unit.
Combs said hotel staff told him they hired a man to install the replacement unit, but he quit because of the cramped working conditions. The man was a bigger guy and couldn't get around the room with the unit's large filter jutting out, Combs said.
Combs said he replaced the unit's filter with a smaller one and replaced some plumbing before turning on power to the unit.