Furnace issue turns party at Toledo banquet hall into chilly affair

Furnace issue turns party at Toledo banquet hall into chilly affair
Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 11:06 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - What should have been a joyous birthday party turned into a freezing cold debacle for a Toledo family.

Now they want to make sure others don’t find themselves in the same spot, dealing with the same chilly and potentially dangerous conditions.

All Occasions Banquet Hall on Hill Avenue near Byrne Road is where the Harris family hoped to celebrate an unforgettable birthday party. They did -- but for the wrong reasons.

The video Tykeysha Harris never expected to be most memorable for her 30th birthday party, paired with her father’s 50th party, was of space heaters keeping the hall warm.

“I walked in and it was freezing. Absolutely cold,” said Harris.

Harris was told a few days earlier about heating issues at All Occasions but was assured they’d be fixed for her party last Saturday. They were not. Instead space heaters were instead placed all over. Guests wore jackets and hats.

“Our guests were literally leaving faster than they were coming. It was like an embarrassment,” said Harris.

13abc spoke with a manager there who puts the furnace issues on the building owner. That manager says the furnace has been an issue for several months, says the unit needs to be replaced, they’re working on fixing it right now and hoping it’ll be done in the next day or so.

He’s not offering a full refund to Harris because he says she and the guests still held the party. Harris says with catering, entertainment and decorations already planned that canceling the party that day was not feasible.

As for all these space heaters, Harris worried about their safety, especially the one was that powered by a fuel source.

“Somebody can accidentally knock them over, somebody can get hurt, and then there’s going to be another issue for me because if it gets knocked over and something sets on fire, now I’m held responsible because I’m the one with the contract, but at the same time you shouldn’t have them in there anyway,” said Harris.

Ohio fire codes says portable space heaters should be plugged directly into receptacles, not extension cords, and should not be within 3 feet of combustible material.

“I would never want anybody to experience this or for anyone to get over on them,” said Harris.

State fire code also says buildings intended for human occupancy shall be provided with active or passive space heating systems capable of maintaining an indoor temperature of not less than 68 degrees.

Harris says the place was cold but no actual reading was ever taken, so there is no way to know the exact temperature during the party.

Attempts to contact the actual owners of the building on Wednesday were unsuccessful.

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