February 5, 2018 8:15 pm
Updated: February 7, 2018 6:29 pm

No CO detectors in Airdrie condo complex where young boy died: Airdrie Fire

WATCH: An Alberta couple is grieving the loss of their 12-year-old son. As Lisa MacGregor reports, Trai Schlichter died after being exposed to high levels of carbon monoxide at an Airdrie apartment complex.

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According to the Airdrie Fire Department, the Airdrie condo complex where there was a lethal carbon monoxide (CO) leak over the weekend did not have CO detectors throughout the building.

In a news conference Sunday, RCMP said a 12-year-old boy died after exposure to carbon monoxide earlier that day.

Deputy Fire Chief Garth Rabel said Monday his team detected very high levels of carbon monoxide within one unit at the complex on Willowbrook Road Sunday, and they believe the odorless gas had dissipated throughout the building.

Officials evacuated more than 130 units in the building and three people were taken to the hospital, including 12-year-old Trai Schlichter.

LISTEN: Angela Kokott speaks to the mother of the young boy you died from carbon monoxide poisoning


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A GoFundMe account has been set up for the family of Schlichter, and his mother told Global News a memorial will be held for him soon.

Lewis Smith with the Canada Safety Council told Global News Monday a national building code went into effect in 2010 mandating that any building built after that date be equipped with a carbon monoxide detector. Smith said the code is applied on an opt-in basis, “meaning that if a province wishes to adopt these regulations, they are the standard that is enforced.”

“In the case of Alberta, though, the province decided to enact its own code rather than adopt the national code,” Smith told Global News. “Their provincial code is substantially the same as the national one, albeit with a few modifications and additions. In other words, although they don’t fall under the National Building Code of Canada’s purview, the province has still legislated carbon monoxide detectors in all buildings built after 2010.”

John Gignac, who lost four family members to CO poisoning in Ontario in 2008, advocated for legislation in Ontario to make it mandatory for all homes to have a CO alarm.

“It makes me angry that the politicians in each province do not jump on it and pass a law to make these mandatory so that we can save lives.”

Rabel said the fire department’s public education team installed CO detectors in every unit within the Airdrie complex when they let residents back into the building.

Carbon monoxide is the leading cause of deadly poisoning in Canada, according to Smith.

The source of the leak is not known. An investigation is ongoing.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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