Strong odor prompts hotel evacuation

An unidentified odor inside the Holiday Inn Express at 1441 E. Washington Street prompted a short evacuation of 95 guest and four employees Tuesday night.

Fire District 3 firefighters responded to the hotel at 7:20 p.m. after reports of a light haze and a strong odor were detected in a hallway. The hotel’s smoke detection and sprinkler systems were never triggered and the first arriving fire crews manually activated the fire alarm to initiate the evacuation. The source for the odor and haze was never determined, however, and the evacuees were allowed to return to their rooms at about 8:40 p.m.

No injuries were reported.

Occupants who were evacuated went to the nearby Black Bear Dinner or stood outside and watched the fire district activities.  

Fire District 3 officials remind travelers that when staying at overnight accommodations, take time to locate the nearest exit to one's room. When the fire alarm activates, follow all directions given by hotel staff and remember to take the room key in case smoky conditions force to return to the room. Do not use elevators during an evacuation. Those with mobility issues should consider requesting the lowest floor possible to facilitate a shorter stairwell escape.

Fire District 3 responded with 10 pieces of equipment, including its ladder truck, and about 24 firefighters and support personnel.  The Sequim Police Department provided officers for both traffic and crowd control.
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