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Toxic Fumes may Have Sickened Other Resort Guests Before Death

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) - Fire officials say an Iowa family was treated for carbon monoxide exposure six days before the toxic fumes contributed to the death of a 26-year-old tourist who stayed in the same room at the upscale resort.

But Key West Fire Chief David Fraga says his agency did not have enough information to suspect the problem was at the Doubletree Grand Key Resort, the city's second largest hotel.

Authorities say the Iowa family also stayed in the hotel's room 416 and were treated on December 21st.

Rescue workers initially thought the family had food poisoning.

But doctors determined they were suffering from carbon monoxide exposure and sent them to a hospital for treatment in a hyperbaric chamber.

An official at the hospital said in a statement the hospital notified the Doubletree and authorities of the potential carbon monoxide exposure but the family had also been other places.

Almost a week later, Thomas Lueders and his father Richard both of Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, were found unconscious in room 416 of the hotel. Thomas Lueders later died.

An investigation found a boiler room next to the fourth floor room created abnormally high level of the colorless and odorless carbon monoxide in the room.

Authorities shut down the 216-room resort on Friday.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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