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Twenty-three people were taken to St. James Healthcare for treatment after a Butte hotel was evacuated early Saturday morning due to a gas leak.

Police, fire, and ambulance services responded to the Quality Inn Hotel & Suites, 2100 Cornell Avenue, at about 7:30 a.m. after guests reported feeling ill and smelling a strong odor of chlorine.

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On arrival, fire crews evacuated the hotel and discovered high levels of carbon monoxide and natural gas. Butte Fire Department battalion commander Ryan McCarthy said Saturday that NorthWestern Energy workers discovered a gas leak in the furnace that heats the swimming pool at the hotel and shut off the gas to that heater. The all-clear was given around noon.

St. James Healthcare spokesperson Tanner Gooch said Saturday afternoon that 17 of the 23 patients were treated at the emergency room and released. The last six were still under observation, he said, but none was expected to be admitted to the hospital.

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