Call Comes In Wake Of Restaurant Owner's Death At Walt Whitman Mall

SEAFORD, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Officials on Long Island continue to push for laws requiring businesses to install carbon monoxide detectors following the death of a restaurant manager over the weekend.

As WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reported, the Town of Hempstead supervisor has proposed a new law that would require CO detectors in most town businesses.

“New York State law already requires that all of our homes have carbon monoxide detectors. But places of public assembly, including restaurants, bars, nightclubs, bowling alleys, gyms, churches, movie theaters and catering facilities now will be required to have those carbon monoxide detectors as well,” Town Supervisor Kate Murray said. “Town of Hempstead will be amending its town code to require that all town places of public assembly…they will be required now to install carbon monoxide detectors.”

The announcement was held at Runyon’s Restaurant in Seaford, where the owner has voluntarily had a carbon monoxide detector installed for 24 years. Murray said CO detectors cost about $20.

On Monday, Suffolk County legislator William Spencer called for all businesses inspected by the health department to be required to install carbon monoxide detectors. Long Island State Senator Carl Marcellino has also proposed requiring CO detectors in restaurants and commercial buildings including schools.

Steven Nelson, 55, died Saturday night after he was overcome by the toxic gas.

He was the restaurant manager of the Legal Sea Foods restaurant at the Walt Whitman Shops in Huntington Station. More than two dozen others in the restaurant were sickened by the fumes and taken to the hospital.

A faulty water heater flue pipe caused the carbon monoxide leak, officials said. The fumes were circulated in the basement by the ventilation systems at the restaurant.

New York, New Jersey and Connecticut all have state laws that require carbon monoxide detectors in homes. Connecticut also requires them in schools.

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