ADDISON (CBS 11 NEWS) – A leaking propane torch in a just-vacated hotel room forced the evacuation of the Crowne Plaza Addison hotel Monday. Investigators say they also found evidence of drug use in the room.
“I knew something wasn’t normal, that’s all I knew,” Ronnie Fluellen of Long Beach, California told CBS 11 News. He was in the Crowne Plaza’s business center when the second floor was evacuated.
Fluellen and other guests say very little was related to them but the presence of firefighters and police officers said it all. “I had to walk to the elevator there, and then passing by I saw the police officer,” he said adding, “And I just wanted to make sure it was okay for me to use the elevator and it was safe in the hotel.”
Fluellen was able to return to his fourth floor room, but dozens of people in second floor conference rooms were evacuated.
A release from Addison Police and Fire reported in part, “…the fire department secured a leaking propane torch and investigated for any other hazardous materials. A small amount of suspected drugs and drug paraphernalia were found at the scene.”
The hotel’s general manager, Sherry Wright, said that housekeeping services found the propane torch. “A guest left something back in the guest’s room,” explained Wright. “And just following normal hospitality protocol and we wanted to make sure — we don’t negotiate safety, so we just called out Addison [Police and Fire].”
Hotels can be targets for lawbreakers who want to make methamphetamines, especially in rooms with easy access to parking lots. A recent Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) report showed 1,300 meth lab incidents nationally in a single 5-year-period. No one is confirming that’s the worry in Monday’s incident….rather, they’re just taking precautions.
“It’s unfortunate but we like a smooth day at work just like everyone else,” Wright concluded.
So far no arrests reported in connection with the leaking propane torch and suspected drugs. Here is the complete press release from Addison police and fire:
A Statement from the Addison Police Department and Addison Fire Department
Shortly after 10:00 a.m. the Addison Fire Department responded to a call at 14315 Midway Road after employees at a hotel at that location discovered suspicious materials in a room.
The building was briefly evacuated while the fire department secured a leaking propane torch and investigated for any other hazardous materials. A small amount of suspected drugs and drug paraphernalia were found at the scene. The building was reopened at approximately 11:30 a.m.
The room was not occupied at the time and no arrests have been made. The case is under investigation by the Addison police department.
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