VIRGINIA BEACH - More than 70 people were evacuated from a Va. Beach hotel because of a carbon monoxide leak.

The guests and employees at Home Wood Suites on Cleveland Street were moved to a nearby hotel after firefighters arrived around 10:00 p.m. Wednesday.

Investigators say several floors of the six-story hotel registered high levels of carbon monoxide. They determined the problem was a faulty natural gas heater on the roof that heated the common areas of the hotel.

Carbon Monoxide levels reached 50 parts per million. This is considered high and unsafe for long term exposure, but not high enough to cause immediate health concerns for short term exposure, said Battalion Chief Tim Riley.

Firefighters spent about three hours airing out the hotel and it's now back in operation.

Riley said the hotel did not have carbon monoxide detectors because they weren't required at the time it was built.

Buildings constructed since 2009 need CO detectors, he stated.

Early signs of Carbon Monoxide poisoning mimics Flu-like symptoms:nausea, vomiting, headaches, and flushed skin. More severe exposure will cause confusion, drowsiness, seizures, unconsciousness & unresponsiveness and death.

VA BEACH CODE: (from Va. Beach Fire and Rescue):
908.7 Carbon monoxide alarms. Carbon monoxide alarms shall be provided in new buildings and structures in accordance with this section.

908.7.1 Alarm requirements. Carbon monoxide alarms shall be single station, hard wired, plug-in or battery type, listed as complying with UL 2034, and shall be installed in accordance with this code and the manufacturer's installation instructions.

908.7.2 Where required. Carbon monoxide alarms shall be installed outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of the bedrooms in dwelling units and outside of, but in the immediate vicinity of, eachsleeping unit in all Group R occupancies located within buildings containing fuel-fired appliances or where a dwelling unit or sleeping unit in a Group R occupancy is attached to a Group U private garage.

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