Lawmaker speaks out after preteen, elderly couple die from CO in - Cleveland 19 News Cleveland, OH

Lawmaker speaks out after preteen, elderly couple die from CO in hotel

Jeffery Williams, 11 (Source: Greene Funeral Home) Jeffery Williams, 11 (Source: Greene Funeral Home)

A lawmaker from South Carolina is speaking out about the laws involving carbon monoxide detectors in North Carolina hotel rooms after a preteen from Rock Hill died of CO poisoning in a Boone hotel.

Family and friends gathered Sunday afternoon to remember the life of Jeffrey Williams. The 11-year-old died of Carbon Monoxide poisoning at a Boone hotel last weekend.

Two months earlier, a couple in their 70s died from CO poisoning in the same hotel room.

There was no detector in the room because North Carolina state law didn't require one.

According to the Carbon Monoxide Safety Association, North Carolina is among 27 states that require CO alarms in new homes, but it does not require them in hotels.

"It's going to call to attention laws with detecting carbon monoxide," South Carolina Rep. Ralph Norman said.

Norman, a friend of the Williams family, attended Sunday's service and spoke to WBTV about the effort made earlier this year by South Carolina lawmakers to pass a bill enacting a new set of building codes.

The new codes go into effect July 1.

"This isn't a money item. This isn't something somebody could look to and say I don't want to do it. There is no rhyme or reason why everybody shouldn't be doing it. Builder, contractor, developer should be doing it and I think they will," Norman said.

New and existing homes, hotels, motels, dormitories and even some apartment dwellings in South Carolina will now be required to install CO detectors and alarms.

On Saturday, NC Health Department Secretary Aldona Wos released this statement:

"My heartfelt condolences go out to the families and loved ones of Shirley and Daryl Jenkins, and young Jeffrey Williams. These deaths were a tragedy that should have never happened. The Department of Health and Human Services is continuing to gather the facts. I have instructed my staff to work with local officials to identify measures to ensure tragedies like this never happen again."

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