Back in April, Shirley and Daryl Jenkins, an elderly couple from Washington state, died in their room at the Best Western Plus Blue Ridge Plaza in Boone. The cause? Carbon monoxide poisoning. Earlier this month, Jeffrey Williams, an 11-year-old boy from South Carolina staying in the very same room, also died from CO poisoning. Well, now we know that all three deaths were the result of a criminal act. Yesterday, Boone town inspectors revealed the source of the CO leak was a malfunctioning indoor pool heater--one that installed without a permit.
Incredibly, though, town officials are holding out the prospect that this hotel may reopen. Sorry, that's not acceptable. The hotel's manager, Appalachian Property Management, also operates four other hotels in the area. Help me tell town officials that this company must never be allowed to run hotels in Boone again.