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Miami hotel where 5 teens were killed had no carbon monoxide detectors

January 26, 2011

Last month we reported that 5 teens were found dead at El Presidente hotel in Hialeah after carbon monoxide from the car in the garage below them seeped into the room killing them.

This tragedy could have been avoided if the hotel had installed carbon monoxide detectors.
A 2007 Florida law requires that all hotel rooms be equipped with carbon monoxide detectors integrated with the hotel’s existing fire alarm system. Additionally, a 2006 Hialeah Ordinance requires carbon monoxide alarms or gas detectors in homes, apartments and commercial buildings. The ordinance, called Janelle’s Law, is in honor of a retired Hialeah police officer’s 19-year-old daughter that was also killed due to carbon monoxide poisoning.

The city of Hialeah had last inspected the hotel in April 2008. According to the Sun-Sentinel, twice that month a fire prevention inspector flagged missing paperwork on the motel’s fire system and other issues. It appears the city of Hialeah never followed up to ensure the hotel had complied with the requirements.

The family members of the teenagers that died want answers as to why they never complied and why inspectors did not force the hotel to install the detectors. We agree these deaths were preventable had the hotel taken the simple and inexpensive step of installing carbon monoxide detectors.

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