There was a fire Sunday at LewisGale Medical Center. Here are the official statements about it from first the city:
The Salem Fire & EMS Department responded to a report of fire at Lewis Gale Medical Center at 1900 Electric Rd. at approximately 12:03 p.m. this afternoon. The first units arrived within six minutes of receiving the call and found light smoke on the fourth floor of the East Wing of the facility.
Lewis Gale Hospital staff located the fire in a room on the fourth floor and put it out with an extinguisher before crews arrived. No one was injured as a result of the fire, but 65 patients were evacuated as a precaution, while fire crews removed the smoke from the floor and checked to make sure the fire had not spread to other nearby areas.
The Salem Fire & EMS department’s Fire Marshal determined that the fire started in an electrical panel box located in the room and that it was accidental in nature. The room was unoccupied when the fire started, and damage was limited to that area.
Approximately 15 personnel from the Salem Fire & EMS Department (Engine 1, Engine 2, Engine 3, & Tower 1) responded to the call.
And from the hospital:
At approximately 12:03 p.m. today, staff at LewisGale Medical Center discovered a small fire in an unoccupied patient room on the fourth floor. Staff immediately activated a firm alarm and quickly put out the fire with a nearby extinguisher. The Salem Fire Department arrived on scene within minutes.
“Due to the quick thinking and actions of our staff, the medical center’s evacuation plan was also immediately activated, and 24 patients on the east wing of the fourth floor were moved off the floor to other patient areas in less than 10 minutes,” said Victor E. Giovanetti, President, LewisGale Regional Health System.
As a precaution, the Medical Center also moved 41 additional patients from east-wing rooms on floors 3, 5, and 6 to other areas while the Fire Department conducted an investigation and completed a thorough safety check.
“All of our hospitals have regular emergency preparedness drills so that our staff can quickly and effectively handle emergency situations such as this, although they rarely occur,” says Giovanetti. “Because of their quick response and following of our emergency plans for fire response and extinguisher operations, the fire was contained to one room with minimal damage. Most importantly, all of our staff made patient safety their primary concern. I want to publicly thank our staff for their actions today, as well as the Fire Department for their quick response.”
All patients are being moved back to their original rooms except those who occupied rooms on the east wing of the fourth floor.