The Hilton Palacio Del Rio was evacuated Thursday
morning due to a chemical scare.
According to officials, pesticides used by an exterminator
set off a chemical detector inside of the hotel around
2 a.m. One person actually, when they were coming
down the stairs, slipped, tripped and had a slight
injury (and was) transported to the hospital,"
said District Fire Chief Lawrence Trevino. "We
had a couple others complaining of sore throats coming
down the stairwells saying they had an intoxicating
feeling...the pesticides kind of hit them."
The pesticide was sprayed in the kitchen but got
into the ventilation system.
When the first alert went off, hotel staff told guests
go back to their rooms because it was just a false
alarm. However, the chemical detector continued to
go on and that is when the guests were asked to evacuate.
The odor was strongest on the seventh and eighth
floors and guests were evacuated while Haz-Mat investigated.
One guest was upset about how the emergency coordination
"My problem is it was almost 30 minutes between
the time the alarm first went off and any emergency
equipment arrived on the scene. I mean 30 minutes
is huge when you have an emergency," said hotel
guest, Dr. Stuart Simpson. "If it had been a
fire, the place would have been fully engulfed. It
would have been terrible. It was a horrible response."