UPDATE: High natural gas levels at Butte hotel caused by faulty boiler, officials say

Posted at 11:50 AM, Jul 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-14 14:07:03-04

BUTTE — At least 16 people were taken to the hospital in Butte Saturday morning after reports of high carbon monoxide and natural gas levels at the Quality Inn and Suites Hotel.

Officials believe the situation was caused by a faulty boiler in the hotel. According to Jeff Miller, fire chief with the Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department, the appliance was isolated and shut down.

“There [are] no readings of carbon monoxide currently in the facility,” Miller told MTN News on Saturday afternoon. “So we’re not sure if people are thinking they’re having symptoms or [if] they’re residual effects from earlier, but at this time there doesn’t appear to be a problem.”

“Everything is safe,” he reiterated. He added that the abnormally high levels of high carbon monoxide and natural gas were not caused by a gasline rupture.

No significant injuries or illnesses were reported because of Saturday’s incident.

The Butte-Silver Bow Fire Department and crews with NorthWestern Energy were called to the hotel on Cornell Avenue at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday after carbon monoxide was detected.

Part of the hotel was evacuated, and some guests were taken to St. James Healthcare to be evaluated. After officials determined it was safe, guests returned later Saturday afternoon. Some guests and staff did report more side effects.