News / Calgary

Carbon monoxide leak that killed 12-year-old boy considered non-criminal: Airdrie RCMP

Trai Schlichter, 12, was removed from life support on Feb. 4 after elevated levels of carbon monoxide were found in his unit inside a four-floor apartment complex.

Trai Schlichter, shown here with his moms Elysha Schlichter and Jayla Thompson, is described as &quota burst of sunshine in the world of anyone who met him."

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Trai Schlichter, shown here with his moms Elysha Schlichter and Jayla Thompson, is described as "a burst of sunshine in the world of anyone who met him."

A fatal carbon-monoxide leak at an Airdrie apartment building was caused by a water heater that was not properly ventilated, an RCMP investigation concluded.

Trai Schlichter, 12, was removed from life support at the Alberta Children's Hospital on Feb. 4 after high levels of carbon monoxide were detected inside the four-floor apartment complex where he lived.

Emergency crews at the 136-unit building at 700 Willowbrook Road found carbon monoxide readings exceeded 2100 parts per million (PPM), while the maximum allowable concentration of carbon monoxide in a living area, in the short term, is 9 PPM.

Airdrie RCMP said Thursday their General Investigation Section determined the poisonous gas leak was non-criminal and came from an on-demand water heater.

The investigation, which involved Airdrie RCMP, the Airdrie Fire Department, ATCO Gas, and the City of Airdrie, is now closed.

A funeral for Trai will be held at 2 p.m. on Feb. 10 at the Airdrie Alliance Church, according to Calgary funeral home Elegant Tributes, and attendees are asked to wear black, orange, white or green – lime green, specifically – which were Trai’s favourite colours.

A candlelight vigil is planned for Feb. 11 at 6 p.m., at Nose Creek Park in Airdrie.

As reported in 2014 by the Airdrie City View newspaper, the same condo complex was evacuated on June 5 after a maintenance crew hired to clean the underground parkade used portable generators for power washers, and vehicles were left idling, which resulted in exhaust entering the building’s HVAC system.

One maintenance worker was transported to hospital in stable, non-life threatening condition for symptoms of carbon monoxide exposure that included a headache and nausea.

In Alberta, carbon monoxide detectors are not required in residential units inside multi-family buildings unless they contain an appliance that generates the gas.

Carbon monoxide detectors are required in all new one- and two-family homes containing a fuel-burning appliance, a solid-fuel-burning appliance, or a storage garage, although homes and apartment buildings built before 2007 are exempt.

The Aidrie Fire Department recommends installing carbon monoxide detectors on every floor of a home or apartment building, and within three to five meters of sleeping areas.

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