Home > Electrical Fire, Industrial > TX: Hospital Moves 70 Patients after Electrical Fire

TX: Hospital Moves 70 Patients after Electrical Fire

EL PASO, Texas:  More than 100 patients have been moved to other hospitals after an electrical fire damaged the Sierra Medical Center’s electrical room, fire officials said.  It happened just before 3 p.m Wednesday.

El Paso fire department spokesperson George DeLaTorre said the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction, which forced the hospital to run on generator power.  The hospital transferred  approximately 37 patients who were considered critical to area hospitals within the Sierra Providence Network, hospital officials said.  One woman was reportedly transported to another hospital immediately because she was in labor.

Philomena Wilkinson, a patient at the hospital, was in the cafeteria when the fire started.  “Billows of smoke coming out, just billowing out,” said Wilkinson.  Within 20 minutes, firefighters were able put out the fire and contain it to the electrical room, fire officials said.  DeLaTorre said electrical engineers worked to restore power to the hospital but were not successful due to the extensive fire damage.

The hospital staff decided to transfer all remaining patients to other hospitals before back-up generators failed.  A total of 70 patients were then transported to other hospitals, DeLaTorre said.  This morning, Wilkinson is at another hospital recovering from surgery.  “They helped me to evacuate too, ’cause obviously I had surgery on my leg,” said Wilkinson.  DeLaTorre said 21 units responded, as well as eight ambulances and eight private ambulances.  As of 10:45 a.m. Thursday, the hospital has reopened, officials said. The Sierra Providence Health Network released the following statement about Wednesday’s fire:

“This afternoon, an electrical surge caused a small fire in the basement of the hospital. The fire department quickly extinguished it, but the hospital was unable to regain power to some areas of the hospital. We have evacuated some patients to our sister hospitals, Providence Memorial Hospital and Sierra Providence East Medical Center. The fire department and local power company are on-site working with us to restore full power. The emergency room is on diversion for EMS and we will let everyone know when our electricity is fully restored. We take the health and safety or our patients, employees and visitors very seriously. We routinely practice for situations like this to ensure that we’re able to respond quickly and appropriately.”

Story via kfoxtv.com

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