One man was taken to hospital early Wednesday morning due to possible inhalation of natural gas fumes at the Northern Motor Inn.
Thornhill Fire Department and BC Ambulance were called to the restaurant and hotel around 3 a.m. after one of the guests reported the smell of gas in their hotel room. Crews discovered one of the unlit burners had been left on in the restaurant kitchen overnight, releasing natural gas into the area.
“We recognized the faint smell of gas right away,” said Thornhill fire chief Rick Boehm.
When crews arrived concentration levels were low enough there wasn’t a risk of an explosion or need to evacuate the building, though the guest had opened one window to vent the room earlier. He was taken to hospital as a precautionary measure after feeling faint in his room, located above the back door to the restaurant.
“We asked the manager if we could change rooms because [the smell] was so overwhelming,” said the guest, James Weget, over the phone.
Juno Son, manager at the Northern Motor Inn, said staff believed the change in the rooms would be enough to fix the issue. He said all restaurant staff have been notified and steps are being taken to make sure there’s no future risk of a leak.
“It is a human error, but we have to do our best that safety is our first priority at the Northern Motor Inn,” he said. “We will educate our staff more and do a voluntary fire inspection next week. So if there is anything that we miss, the fire department can point it out to us.”