A Bakersfield, CA man remains hospitalized following a carbon monoxide leak last week at the Embassy Suites hotel in Burlingame.
The man was found unresponsive in his hotel room Wednesday, Nov. 7 around 6 p.m. He was taken to Mills Peninsula Medical Center, where doctors diagnosed him with carbon monoxide poisoning. Following the diagnosis, doctors notified emergency responders of a potential leak at the Embassy Suites.
Around 1 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 8, guests were evacuated from the hotel. Officials determined a broken boiler in the pool area of the hotel caused the leak.
Although his diagnosis led to the discovery of the leak, Central Country Fire Department Chief Don Dornell said at the time of the evacuation that no one had been harmed or required treatment, and hotel staff reported no correlation between a carbon monoxide leak and the man’s condition.
Cynthia Greaves, the Manager of Public Affairs at Mills Peninsula Medical Center, said no one else was taken to the hospital for treatment.
“The management in the hotel…have to be stupid or lying,” said Marc Stewart, a family member of the man. “They were saying they weren’t sure there was any correlation between some guy who just happened to get sick the previous night…and the fact that were was carbon monoxide in the hotel.”
Multiple calls to management at the Embassy Suites have not been returned.
Stewart said the sick man, a father of two, spoke with his wife on the phone at 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 6. A class one pilot in good health who works for Occidental Petroleum, he failed to arrive for work the next day, leading to the eventual discovery of the man unconscious in his room.
“His room was directly above the boiler that was spewing carbon monoxide,” Stewart said.
Regardless of the proximity of the pilot’s room to the source of the leak, no carbon monoxide detector sounded. Stewart said he was told that the hotel had a pass on detectors because it is undergoing remodeling, however a new law requiring multi-family dwellings and buildings, like hotels, to install carbon monoxide detectors does not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2013.
The man was moved from Mills Peninsula to Saint Francis Memorial Hospital in San Francisco, where he continues undergoing hyperbaric treatments. His wife and other family members have remained close by, including his son who flew to town from Japan.
Stewart recently visited with the man and said he is slowly improving, although not out of the woods yet.
“He’s kind of opening his eyes and he recognizes the voices of his family members,” he said. “We just don’t know yet what the full outlook is…it’s one day at a time.”
--Bay City News contributed to this report.