Authorities are trying to determine who was responsible for leaving three bottles of gasoline inside an East Independence Boulevard hotel -- and what was intended for that potentially flammable material.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say three bottles containing gasoline were found inside a room before 5 a.m. at the Econo Lodge, in the 3000 block of Independence Boulevard, near Bojangles Arena. The room was vacant, police say, and a HazMat team was called to dispose of the materials.
Guests at the hotel were evacuated.
The investigation was complicated about 5 a.m., when someone reported smoke inside the nearby Golden Green Hotel, at 3024 Independence Boulevard.
Guests from that facility were evacuated in the near-freezing cold, but firefighters determined that the smoke was related to the operation of a heater inside the hotel. Guests were allowed back into their rooms a short time later.