POSTED: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 11:17am
UPDATED: Friday, November 11, 2011 - 11:21am
JONESBORO, LA. (NBC33) — A fire at the Jackson Parish Hospital caused the evacuation of the entire facility and repairs will be required to be performed before patients will return.
The Jonesboro Fire Department responded to the Parish’s hospital located at 165 Beech Springs Road shortly after noon today, for a report that the building was on fire. When firefighters arrived they discovered that the laundry room was on fire and heavy smoke throughout the building. First responders immediately evacuated the hospital and extinguished the fire. 17 patients were transported by Jackson Parish Ambulance Service to other medical facilities due to the closure of the hospital. Fire Chief Mark Treadway stated, “Our department has drilled and trained on how we would respond in the event of a fire here, today it has paid off, no one was injured and the building was saved. I am proud of our firefighters and our Parish’s ambulance service”.
State Fire Marshal’s Office Deputies were dispatched to the scene to investigate the cause of this fire and inspect the safety conditions of the building for reentry. The fire was causes by dryer lint igniting in a ceiling mounted exhaust pipe. The fire caused serious damage to the maintenance and laundry rooms. Nearly 20 smoke detectors located throughout the building where activated and alerted the occupants. This fire was extinguished by the fire department; the building is equipped with automatic fire sprinklers however the area where the fire started is not protected with this technology. The emergency room was allowed to reopen with “Fire Watch Personnel” until the entire fire alarm system can be placed back into service. All of the other services of the hospital still remain closed. The Fire Marshal’s Office will be working with the facility to open other areas of the building tomorrow as repairs are made and safety is declared. State Fire Marshal H. “Butch” Browning commended the wonderful work of the Jonesboro Fire Department and the Jackson Parish Ambulance Service for their lifesaving efforts. He stated, “Today fire codes, fire suppression and rescue professionals all came together and it saved lives, we should never take fire prevention lightly as well as the value of our local fire department”.