A malfunctioning boiler was the cause for an evacuation of the west annex of the Mammoth Mountain Inn at Mammoth Mountain Ski Area on Dec. 29, 2012 according to Mammoth Lakes Fire Marshal Thom Heller.
The fire department was alerted to the situation at the Inn by Mammoth Hospital at approximately 7:50 a.m. last Saturday following the arrival of two of the Inn’s guests who drove themselves to the hospital because they felt they were experiencing symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning. These two individuals reported to the hospital, which in turn called the fire department. Apparently, people staying in the same room one week earlier and had also shown signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, but MLFD had not been notified.
“We contacted Mammoth Mountain and they started the evacuation process,” Heller explained. When MLFD arrived, they evacuated everyone from that portion of the Inn to be on the safe side.
“There were significant parts per million of carbon monoxide,” Heller said, adding that the OSHA recommended amount if 35 ppm, and the levels were “quite a bit higher than that.”
Those showing signs of carbon monoxide poisoning were evaluated and 12 people were transported to Mammoth Hospital. All 12 were released after a few hours.
MLFD discovered that the problem boiler was venting into the room where it was located rather than outside and an old shaft was then taking the carbon monoxide into the room (s). The boiler was shut off and taken out of service, according to Heller.
According to a Mammoth Mountain press release, “Additional precautionary measures will be put in place immediately including placing monitoring equipment in the building and 24 hour walk-throughs with monitoring equipment by hotel staff.”