At around 12:45 AM on Sunday, December 7, the Hyatt Regency O’Hare received a complaint of a chemical odor on the ninth floor. Following a 9-1-1 call, first responders determined that a container with a chlorine-containing chemical was broken there. At 1:10 AM the entire hotel was evacuated, first across Bryn Mawr Ave. in front of the Hyatt as per Rosemont Fire Department’s standard procedures, then when it became apparent that the wait would take longer the Stephens Convention Center was opened to provide warmth and shelter to our guests. A full HazMat response was called in at that time.
In the course of investigating the scene, the Rosemont Police Department determined that this was a criminal act and began investigating it as such. This delayed allowing our guests back into the hotel. Midwest FurFest is deeply thankful for the cooperation and patience shown during this time, and please know that everyone was working to get you back into the hotel as quickly as possible. At 4:21 AM the all-clear was given and we worked with the Hyatt staff to return all of our guests to the hotel in the quickest and safest manner possible.
Rosemont Public Safety has reported that nineteen people who complained of nausea and dizziness were transported to local hospitals. Because they were transported after the hotel (including Hyatt staff) was evacuated, we do not have any identification of these individuals. We have been informed by the Hyatt Regency O’Hare that some of those individuals have been released as of this morning.
As we wake up today we want to continue to provide the best possible convention that we can, despite the trying circumstances. The convention will be running on a full normal programming schedule today. We ask you to continue to be patient, and remember that the volunteers who make Midwest FurFest happen intend to give 110% to make sure that the fun, friendship, and good times of Midwest FurFest 2014 overshadow last night’s unfortunate incident.
To dispel rumors: Because this was an unforeseen possibly criminal act, Midwest FurFest will not be offering refunds, nor will the Hyatt Regency O’Hare be comping any rooms. Any further questions should be referred to email@example.com.
WOW!!!! If MFF goes down in the history books yesterday was really something to be hold. First of all the crowd was WAY UP!!! The number of fursuiters in parade OMG!!! The parade itself nearly lasted an hour, and as far as I know. No fursuit parade this entire year lasted more than 40 minutes.
Oh yeah I also forgot MFF hit the local news last night…
A chemical leak at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont caused an evacuation early Sunday, right in the midst of the Midwest FurFest Convention.
Rosemont Public Safety upgraded the leak to third alarm at the hotel, 9300 Bryn Mawr Ave. in Rosemont, an Elk Grove Village firefighter said. Rosemont declined to comment.
One ambulance from Elk Grove Village was sent to the scene at about 2:20 a.m., said.
It was not immediately known how many people were transported to hospitals.
The chemical leak happened during the 2014 Midwest FurFest Convention, which was taking place at the hotel from Friday to Sunday, according to the group’s website.
Attendees dress up like furry animals for the event, centered around art, literature and performance based on anthropomorphic animals, according to the convention’s website.
Multiple witnesses said the leak was reported on either the 9th or 10th floor of the hotel. One woman said chlorine could be smelled on both floors.
Lucis Hilliard, who was attending the convention, said the evacuation was “very orderly. “
Several people could be seen in animal costumes waiting outside of the hotel. Ambulances from area suburbs were on scene helping transport people.
The number of injuries was not immediately known.
Isn’t that something?!!! This one will go down in the record books, but we will have to wait for the official numbers before we see by how much.