Carbon monoxide leak sickens 15 people, prompts evacuation at Hotel Emma at the Pearl

Most victims were hotel staff; they complained of nausea, headache

SAN ANTONIO – A suspected carbon monoxide leak on Wednesday led to 15 people being taken to a hospital and the evacuation of Hotel Emma, San Antonio Fire Department officials said.

SAFD officials responded to the historic hotel at the Pearl around 11 a.m. for a report of a sick person complaining of nausea and headache. Upon arrival, several more people at the hotel complained of the same symptoms.

Most of the victims were hotel staff members and no life-threatening illnesses were reported, SAFD said.

The leak appeared to be isolated to one or two floors, SAFD said.

Hotel marketing officials said it could take several hours to reopen the hotel because crews need to find the source of the leak and repair it.

The Pearl sent the following statement in regards to the incident:

The safety and experience of our associates and guests is our top priority. Out of an abundance of caution, Hotel Emma has been safely evacuated and we are watching the situation closely. We are supporting SAFD’s evacuation efforts and keeping the area clear while they conduct their investigation. Southerleigh, which was also evacuated, will reopen at 4 p.m. this afternoon. The rest of Pearl’s properties have not been impacted and remain open.

The hotel sent a statement at 6 p.m. saying the hotel will not reopen Wednesday night:

In an abundance of caution, Hotel Emma has relocated our guests and staff for the evening and shut down the hotel for the night. We will continue to monitor the situation alongside the SAFD and test again in the morning. We thank the SAFD for their quick response and support. As always, the safety and comfort of our guests and staff remains our top priority.

While the incident happened at a hotel, SAFD officials stressed the importance of a carbon monoxide monitor in homes that have natural gas and being aware of the signs of poisoning, such as nausea, headaches and dizziness.

We’ll have more information on this story as it becomes available.

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Camelia Juarez is a news reporter at KSAT 12. She joined the station in 2022. Camelia comes from a station in Lubbock, Texas. Now, she is back in her hometown. She received her degree from Texas State University. In her free time, Camelia enjoys thrifting, roller-skating and spending time with family and friends.