NEWS

Colonial War Memorial Hospital Blaze Contained, Patients Safe

Assistant Health Minister thanks NFA, Police for quick response.
27 May 2019 12:06
Colonial War Memorial Hospital Blaze Contained, Patients Safe
Firefighters putting out the fire from the boiler room at CWM Hospital on May 26, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Patients in the Colonial War Memorial Hospital were safely evacuated after a fire scare yesterday afternoon.

The National Fire Authority (NFA) was informed about a fire at 4.07pm and within six minutes they were at the scene to find the hospital’s boiler room in flames.

Twenty-five firefighters were on the ground and managed to contain the fire.

NFA chief fire officer Qionilau Moceitai confirmed that no casualties were reported in the incident.

“We managed to extinguish the fire at the bottom level where the boiler is. It did not go up to the laundry room,” Mr Moceitai said.

NFA is expected to commence their investigation this morning, in order to determine the cause of the fire

Family members and patients waiting to be evacuated by police and authorities at the CWM hospital in Suva on May 26,2019.Photo:Simione Haravanua.

Family members and patients waiting to be evacuated by police and authorities at the CWM hospital in Suva on May 26,2019.Photo:Simione Haravanua.

Acting Medical Superintendent at the Colonial War Memorial Hospital, Dr James Fong, said the Children’s Ward, which is closest to the boiler room, was evacuated first. Babies who needed vital care were quickly moved to the labour ward.

“There are two rooms in the labour ward where we can oxygenate babies,” Dr Fong said.

Patients were also moved to the antenatal maternity section of the hospital.

Assistant Minister for Health Alex O’Connor was also at the scene, where he thanked NFA and the Fiji Police Force for their quick response.

“All the other parts of the hospital are safe for occupation,” Mr O’Connor said.

Meanwhile, close to 100 Police officers were deployed to the hospital to assist with the evacuation.

Some remained at the scene to assist health officers and patients through the night.

When this edition went to press, hospital staff were still waiting for electricity to be restored so that they could start moving the patients back to their wards.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

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