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This article was published 6/9/2019 (543 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

When fire-paramedic crews rushed into a Super 8 hotel in July to stop a carbon monoxide leak that was poisoning guests, they discovered several fire code violations.

The July 9 leak at the hotel sent at least 44 people to hospital, 15 of them in critical condition. All have since made a complete recovery.

A violation notice was issued that day, ordering the hotel, located at 3760 Portage Ave., to clean up a can of gasoline in the service room and remove a power bar patched with electrical tape. The Free Press obtained a copy of the notice through a freedom of information request.

The Office of the Fire Commissioner continues to investigate the cause of the leak, a spokesperson for the province said. Super 8 owner Justin Schinkel said at the time that the property had been inspected on schedule and was up to code.

But emergency officials at the scene issued four citations.

One was to remove a five-gallon gasoline container — possible combustible material — from the service room where the leak likely happened.

Another was to "repair electrical installations causing an undue fire hazard" — a power bar cord in the basement mechanical room connected to the power supply was patched with tape.

The hotel was also ordered to increase clearance around electrical panels and remove another, undisclosed, combustible material from the service room.

A spokesperson for the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service said the code issues were not related to the carbon monoxide leak and were dealt with immediately.

"They neither contributed to its occurrence or severity," spokesperson Erin Madden said in an email.

Guests were allowed back into the hotel about six hours after the leak was detected.

Previously, officials said it was likely that a natural gas-powered appliance malfunctioned in the boiler room, sending carbon monoxide through the building.

"Instead of being safely vented, exhaust was being drawn back into the building," Manitoba Hydro director of engineering and construction Chuck Steele said after the incident.

Multiple calls to hotel ownership have gone unanswered. Super 8 still has not identified the appliance that malfunctioned, leading to the gas leak.

When guests were allowed back in the hotel, all natural gas appliances initially remained off. Madden would only say they included the hot-water heater.

"Given there was no ongoing hazards and Provincial Health had no issues with the lack of hot water, the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service allowed continued occupancy of the hotel," Madden said.

Workplace Safety and Health also ordered the hotel to install more carbon monoxide detectors, including seven in public areas and hallways and three in areas where gas appliances are used. That order was complied with on July 30.


Twitter: @tessavanderhart