March 17 2020

Burlington Extended Stay America Being Closed for Safety Violations

By: Rich Hosford

A hotel in Burlington is being closed on Tuesday but not for reasons related to Coronavirus/COVID-19. 


Town Administrator Paul Sagarino said in a notice that the Extended Stay America at 40 South Avenue is being forced to close by the Building Inspector due to “serious violations of the Building and Fire Codes.” 


“The serious items relate to the HVAC system and sprinkler system and have nothing to do with the Coronavirus,” Sagarino said. 


Building Inspector Andrew Ungerson told BNEWS that an issue with the building’s sprinkler system had been brought to his department’s attention and that a firewatch detail had been set up in conjunction with the Burlington Fire Department to monitor the situation. A firewatch detail means a firefighter is at the building to respond quickly and help evacuate people should an issue arise. 


Ungerson said that when a repair person came to fix the sprinkler system they noticed that an exhaust pipe from the gas fire appliances for hot water and the furnace was damaged and appeared to be leaking carbon monoxide. Members of the Building Department went to check on the situation with CO detectors and found that the pipe was pumping the dangerous gas into the attic. 


“The high readings were beyond the safety levels,” Ungerson said. “We mandated that the hotel be shut down.” 


The 84 guests currently staying at the hotel were moved to other hotels in the area. 


Ungerson said the next step is for the hotel to make repairs to the pipe. When that work is completed his department will inspect it and if it passes the hotel will be allowed to reopen. The appliances and furnace connected to the pipe cannot be fired up until after the inspection. 


Finally, Ungerson said he was glad the situation was discovered before it caused anyone harm as CO gas is both deadly and odorless to humans. 


“The cooperation between the Building and fire Departments possibly stopped something that could have been catastrophic,” he said.



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