UPDATED: La Porte city passes amendment requiring carbon monoxide detectors
In the wake of the deadly carbon monoxide leak at a Niles Quality Inn, one Indiana organization is working to stop the silent killer from claiming any more lives in La Porte city.
UPDATE: A representative with the Indiana Department of Homeland Security confirmed the Fire Prevention & Building Safety Commission voted to table the amendment Tuesday until their meeting next month.
The founder presented an ordinance to the La Porte City Council tonight that would mandate carbon monoxide detectors in any new residential buildings in the city.
After a tie-breaking vote from Mayor Blair Milo, the amendment passed the city's approval, but it didn't receive the final stamp of approval from the state Tuesday.
This carbon monoxide detector amendment could save lives, and something like it could have saved the life of Dorothy Kesling’s daughter.
“Never thought I would be doing something like this, you know, she, I’ll never see her get married. I’ll never see her own her own home,” said Kesling.
The silent killer, carbon monoxide, claimed the life of 22-year-old Lindsey in Arizona back in 2010.
Arizona and the Keslings’ home state, Indiana, are two of only four states that have no laws requiring carbon monoxide detectors be installed in any buildings.
Frustrated by that, Kesling created the Lindsey O’Brien Kesling Wishing Tree Foundation in the hopes of saving others.
“It’s inexcusable. CO alarms are prevention, and there’s no reason why a lot of these special interest groups in our state, particularly, have pushed aback on this issue for several years now,” said Dorothy.
But Kesling keeps pushing.
“I had asked the La Porte City Council if they would pass an ordinance for the city that would require the installation of carbon monoxide alarms in old construction, new construction, and rentals. Nobody should be exempt from this. Everybody should be protected from this poison. They decided to write the ordinance for new construction only,” she said.
That concerns technicians and homeowners alike.
“It’s actually pretty common. Smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors. I would say at least 70% of the homes that we encounter do not have them, and we have a chance to make an impact in the community. We visit over 3,000 residential homes every year,” said the president of DYE Plumbing and Heating, Daniel Combs.
One of those homeowners was Alexandra Christner. The foundation gifted her family a detector just in time in 2013.
She has since moved from La Porte, so we spoke via Facebook messenger.
“My youngest came and crawled in bed, and all the sudden, our alarm went off, and we automatically ran out of the house…They said if me and the children hadn’t had a carbon monoxide detector, we may never have woken up,” said Christner.
Now. both Christner and Kesling are passionate about making sure this killer stays silent no more.
“I just don’t understand why it’s such a fight to do something that is so common sense,” said Christner.
“It will be the first carbon monoxide ordinance regulation of its kind in our state, so it would be a huge regulation victory,” said Kesling.