NORFOLK - A Norfolk hotel was evacuated Monday morning because of a gas leak, causing traffic problems in downtown.

The 100 block of Tazewell and the 200 block of Granby remained closed at 8:00 a.m. so firefighters could get into the Tazewell Hotel and Suites and air it out.

Capt. Mike Hicks says employees smelled gas from the basement, where the furnace is, and called firefighters and paramedics around 7:00 a.m.

Hicks told that the manager on duty says there were 30 rooms rented and most were to military personnel. He said most of the people were already out of the building when the leak was noticed. Those being evacuated were taken to the Norfolk fire and police administration a block away at Brooke and Granby streets.

Crews were blowing air into the hotel to help clear the carbon monoxide and the heating system has been secured, so it was expected the gas would dissipate, Hicks added.

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