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City of Niles investigating Quality Inn and Suites following carbon monoxide leak

The YMCA in Niles-Buchanan says Bryan Watts was a member of the Y club here.

The Niles-Buchanan YMCA was feeling the loss of one of their own Monday.

"The most thing I can say I remember about Bryan is his going to be his smile," said Iesha Davis, who was a counselor for the Y Club last year.

Bryan Watts, 13, and his friends were part of the summer program, the Y-Club, where Davis said he loved to play basketball.

"On the basketball court he always used to try and be really big and play against everybody that was taller than him, everybody that was bigger than him," she said.

Tearing up, she described Watts and his friends as "goof balls." Davis said the kids she knows were at the Quality Inn when they were hit with a carbon monoxide leak that killed Watts.

"Just remember that every moment counts, every second that we are here on Earth we can't take for granted, I mean, you never know when you can lose someone as close and as special as those kids did," she said.

That's why YMCA CEO, Mark Weber, said they take safety seriously.

"In our pool and all of our areas, we do have carbon monoxide detectors, and the purpose behind it is we've got a lot of heating equipment," he said.

Weber said because of the moist environment in the pool area, they replace their carbon monoxide detector once a year. Twice a year, he said the staff changes the batteries in all their carbon monoxide detectors.

"But the other thing that's really critical is annual inspections," he said.

Weber said those annual equipment checks aren't required by law, but the Y does it to keep patrons safe, replacing two heating units based on their inspection last year.

Ric Huff is the Niles City Administrator. He said the city aims to inspect all commercial buildings once a year.

"My opinion would be that everyone should invest in one whether you're required to have one or not," he said.

Despite his opinion on carbon monoxide detectors, Huff said every building has different code standards depending on many factors. Huff says the city is already investigating the Quality Inn to see if they were up to date.

"We need to determine exactly when the building was built, and under what codes it was being built, what building codes and what property maintenance were in use at the time, and what those changes have occurred since that moment in time," said Huff.

Then, Huff said, they have to look at court cases that might have changed written statutes, as well as any state codes. Huff said cities like Niles, that do their own code inspection, may not necessarily adopt state codes.

WSBT 22 contacted multiple city offices to see if the Quality Inn had a carbon monoxide detector, but we could not get an answer. WSBT 22 also asked the building department the last time the Quality Inn was inspected but were told that information was handed over to police for the investigation.

Huff said the Niles fire chief, police department and building inspector are all part of the investigation of the hotel.

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