About 2,000 people were evacuated from the Red Lion Hotel in west Olympia on Wednesday evening after pepper spray fumes spread through the hotel’s air system, according to the Olympia Police Department.
Officers responded to reports of a fight at the hotel at about 5:30 p.m. They noticed upon arrival that the fire alarm had been activated and people were evacuating. When they entered the building, they smelled pepper spray.
Some hotel guests reported that they heard a large crash, and began coughing. They said they thought a gas pipe had burst and they had pulled a fire alarm, according to police.
Officers found a woman covered in an orange residue, commonly left behind by pepper spray. She said she had come to the hotel to collect bail money for her boyfriend from another woman. She met the woman and a man in a hotel room, but the woman refused to give her the money. The two women fought, and during the course of the fight, the second woman sprayed the first with pepper spray.
The first woman refused to leave until she was given the bail money, but the man and second woman broke a window and climbed out.
Witnesses reported seeing a man and woman climb through the window and drive away in a vehicle, according to police.
Officers searched the room and found a pepper spray cannister, cash and drug paraphernalia.
The Olympia Fire Department treated the woman for pepper spray exposure.
No one has been arrested, but police are continuing to investigate the incident.