Bear spray accident at hotel hospitalizes three people

An unattended canister of chemical bear attack deterrent accidentally discharged by housekeeping staff on the second floor of the Fairfield Inn in Williston on Friday sent three hotel employees to the hospital with non-life-threatening respiratory complaints, the Williston Fire Department reported. 

Firefighters responded to the scene on St. George Road about 10:30 a.m., clearing the hotel of roughly 30 guests and clearing the air inside with high-powered ventilation fans. Guests and staff were able to return inside of the building by about noon. 

The fire department was supported on scene by Williston Police, the Vermont Hazardous Materials Response Team and firefighters from Essex, Richmond and Burlington.