AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Questions surround the occurrence of two HVAC collapses over pools in Aurora within the past seven months.
Aurora Fire Rescue said six people were hurt, two of them with life-threatening injuries, when firefighters and paramedics responded to the collapse at the Gaylord Rockies Resort and Convention Center on Saturday morning.
One guest, Ashley Richter, told FOX31 she was in the pool when she heard what sounded like twisting metal.
“There was black sludge that smelled like sewage that was falling from the ceiling,” Richter said.
Neither Aurora Fire nor any other city agency has jurisdiction to investigate what went wrong on private property. The FOX31 Problem Solvers found RK Mechanical installed the HVAC system at the Gaylord Rockies Resort approximately five years ago.
The company issued the following statement to FOX31: “RK Mechanical was one of the contractors that installed mechanical equipment at the Gaylord Rockies Resort during its construction roughly five years ago. We are and will continue to cooperate with local authorities, the Gaylord and other contractors to determine the cause of this accident. In the meantime, our thoughts are with those who have been affected by this unfortunate event, and we are here to help in any way we can.”
Aurora public pool had ductwork collapse in 2022
A different company installed the system at the Utah Indoor Pool, where the Problem Solvers learned there was yet another HVAC collapse there in November involving the facility’s 25-30- year-old HVAC system installed above the pool perimeter.
No one was injured in the collapse.
The City of Aurora tells FOX31 that “the city immediately launched an investigation to identify the cause of the issue and determined that some of the HVAC ductwork fasteners failed. The city also inspected every indoor pool at the same time and subsequently began conducting regular assessments that will continue.”
The Utah Indoor Pool’s HVAC system is under repair and almost completed. The facility had been cleared by the health department for appropriate air quality in the absence of the HVAC system.
FOX31 spoke to parents who want to know more about how HVAC systems are secured in public areas.
“Scary, because my son could absolutely be swimming in there and it could’ve just come down there and hit him,” said Nicole, who takes her son to both pools.
Jon Alvino of Sheet Metal Local 9 tells the Problem Solvers proper ductwork fasteners are crucial to keeping HVAC systems safe.
“It all goes back to making sure that installation was done with manufacturer specifications and engineer specifications,” Alvino said.
The sheet metal expert adds that galvanized sheet metal will be susceptible to corrosion from the chlorinated environment