El Cortez Evacuated Due to Carbon Monoxide Leak

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10:15 PM

Residents of the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Reno have been allowed to return, but will not have hot water tonight, after a carbon monoxide leak was found in the building. The problem was first reported by residents who began feeling ill. Reno Fire crews were called in to investigate and discovered high levels of the deadly gas in the building. That's when they began evacuating the 84 guests.

At least 12 people were transported for treatment symptoms including headache and nausea. Hazmat crews assisted as the city's building department searched for the source of the leak. They discovered a failure in the heat exchanger in the basement water heaters. Building managers have been given a limited amount of time to fix the problem.

RENO, Nev. -- Residents at the El Cortez Hotel in downtown Reno evacuated Saturday afternoon due to a possible carbon monoxide leak.

KOLO 8 News Now Photog Sholeh says firefighters were at the scene helping clear the building.

A woman who said she lives in the building complained of a sore throat and a headache. She also said there was a "funny smell" inside. The woman, who wishes to remain anonymous, said she thinks the building just got a new alarm system. She said she could hear the alarm "loud and clear" but assumed it was just a test... until the firefighters showed up in the hallway.

Stay with KOLO 8 News Now for the latest developments in this story.