On Thursday, Oct. 29 at 9:09 p.m., Palo Alto and Mountain View Fire Departments, along with Santa Clara County EMS, responded to the smell of a chemical odor at the Westin Hotel, 675 El Camino Real in Palo Alto.
There were multiple complaints of a respiratory irritant by employees and guests of the hotel. A total of 12 people were transported to Stanford or El Camino Hospitals after being decontaminated at the scene.
The garage and first floor of the hotel were evacuated while guests on the third and fourth floors were ordered to shelter in place. The air system (HVAC) in the hotel was turned off to ensure the odor wouldn't travel through the upper floors.
The hazmat teams made two entries onto levels one and two of the underground parking garage to test the air and determine the source. Although pool chemicals and cleaning equipment was discovered, everything was intact. Crews were ultimately unable to identify the source of the material causing the problem.
The air in the garage tested clear and was determined safe. The scene was released to hotel responsibles and guests were readmitted to the hotel just after midnight.
The responding crews included Palo Alto Engines 61 and 62, Truck 66, Medics 61 and 62, Battalion 66 and Deputy Chief of Operations, Mountain View Hazardous Material Team 55, Santa Clara County EMS Medic Units 11, 13 and a medical supervisor.
Safety Tip: Make sure all pool supplies and cleaning products are stored in a secure place and locked.
For more information visit www.cityofpaloalto.org/fire or call 650-329-2615.