Wednesday, Aug. 12-CO Scare Evacuates Resort Hotel

OCEAN CITY – The resort had another carbon monoxide scare yesterday, as an oceanfront hotel was closed as a result of high levels of the gas known as the silent killer.

According to police reports, at approximately 9:20 yesterday morning, Ocean City Communications received a call for a sick persons in a hotel room at the Americana Hotel, located at 913 Atlantic Avenue. Upon arrival, Ocean City fire department personnel detected high levels of carbon monoxide and immediately requested additional public safety support, including resources from the Ocean City Fire Department, Police, Emergency Services and Fire Marshal. Fire and Police Department personnel immediately evacuated the building and conducted a floor-to-floor/door-to-door search to assure that all seven floors and 94 rooms were empty. In all, two people were transported to Atlantic General Hospital for observation, authorities reported. Another was treated on the scene.

The Ocean City Fire Department reported this morning there were no carbon monoxide detectors in the building. In a press release, the department said, ‘The Ocean City Fire Prevention Code requires the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in multi-family dwellings such as hotels and motels to ensure the safe operation of fuel burning devices.”

The Ocean City Tourism Department and the Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association assisted the building management in arranging for accommodations for the displaced hotel guests.

Although the cause is still under investigation, pending review from a third party mechanical inspector, the hotel’s LP gas-burning equipment has not been ruled out as a potential factor in the incident. Public occupancy of the hotel has been prohibited by the Fire Marshals Division and the Town of Ocean City Building Inspectors Office, pending the conclusion of the Fire Marshals investigation as well as the review by the mechanical inspection agency.

This is not the first time Ocean City has escaped a tragedy with carbon monoxide this summer.

In June, a carbon monoxide leak was discovered at the El Capitan, located on the Boardwalk at 4th Street. It sent a family of six to the hospital, but no serious injuries were reported. It was later determined that the building did not have the required carbon monoxide detectors in the building, putting El Capitan in violation of town ordinance.

For the complete story and other top news of the week, see The Dispatch on Friday morning.