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Police name child killed in CO leak at Michigan hotel; other kids in good condition

Twelve people were hospitalized following a carbon monoxide leak at the Quality Inn & Suites in Niles, Mich., Saturday, April 1, 2017. (WSBT/Cassidy Williams)

NILES, Mich. (WSBT) - A hospital official tells WSBT 22 one of several children found unconscious in the pool area of the Quality Inn & Suites in Niles Saturday has died. Niles police identified him as Bryan Douglas Watts, 13. He is from Niles.

A source says he was attending a birthday party at the hotel. The kids had checked into the hotel Friday Night and had decided to take a swim before checking out Saturday morning.

In all, 14 other people were taken to area hospitals -- including eight children between 12-14, according to Niles police. Just before 10 p.m. we learned one of the kids was treated and released from Memorial Hospital and the other seven at Memorial were upgraded to good condition.

An adult first responder was also treated and released from Memorial.

Lakeland Hospital received six people, including Watts who was dead on arrival. We are told five adults were treated and released -- four first responders and one hotel worker.

The call went out around 10 a.m. Saturday. Capt. Don Wise with Niles City Fire told a WSBT 22 reporter at the scene a "high level" of carbon monoxide was found in the pool area of the hotel and lower levels leaked into other parts of the hotel. Niles Police say the highest level recorded was 800 parts per million.

An inspection by a mechanical engineer showed the cause was a malfunction in the pool heater, according to Niles Fire.

Capt. Wise says a new general manager just took the hotel within the last 4 to 6 months as a franchisee.

Wise says he is not aware of any major inspection problems at this hotel in the past.

The general manager did not comment Saturday.

The superintendent of the Niles Public School confirms that the boy who died was a middle school student within the district.

Dr. Dan Applegate says Bryan Watts was a personable young man and was well-liked.

He said he also expects the Niles school community has other families affected by the pool tragedy whose children are still in the hospital recovering tonight.

Today was the first day of spring break for Niles schools.

Applegate says when school resumes on Monday April 10, counselors will be on hand for students.

(If you are looking at this page on our mobile app, click here for a video update from the scene.)

The hotel is closed and will remain close until repairs are made.

Stay with us for updates.


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