West Des Moines, IA – By Melissa Walker, The Register
Five employees of the Sheraton Hotel in West Des Moines are still being treated for carbon monoxide exposure after being taken to Mercy Medical Center earlier this morning.
The employees were taken by ambulance to the hospital after hotel officials realized there were dangerous levels of carbon monoxide present in a first-floor laundry area.
Hotel manager Rick Funke said there was no danger to hotel guests and all employees are doing fine.
“Right now they are just being watched in the hospital and getting more oxygen,” Funke said.
He declined to release the names of the employees who were taken to Mercy Medical Center.
West Des Moines firefighters and emergency medical personnel were called to the hotel, 1800 50th St., about 9:10 this morning. Funke said several employees who were working in the laundry room area complained they had headaches. Hotel officials examined carbon monoxide detectors in the area and saw the levels were elevated and called 911.
Funke said all employees in the area were evacuated and taken to the hospital as a precaution. Guests were not in danger, he said, because the fumes were contained and no guest rooms are located on the first level of the hotel.
Mike Whitsell, assistant public information officer for the West Des Moines Fire Department, said a motor for an exterior exhaust fan of the laundry room boiler had quit working and caused the carbon monoxide to accumulate in the room. Firefighters ventilated the area and were able to remove fumes from the area within an hour of receiving the 911 call, Whitsell said.