Electrical Fire At Hospital Causes Medical Center To Shut Down
An entire El Paso hospital is being shut down tonight after a fire knocked out power to the building.
Earlier today, electrical engineers were trying hard to restore power at Sierra Medical Center so that the remaining patients would not have to be removed. Unfortunately, we have just learned that power at the hospital will not restored any time soon.
Firefighters arrived at Sierra Medical Center shortly after 3 this afternoon to put out a fire in the basement of the hospital. The fire started in one of the basement's electrical rooms, which caused smoke to spread onto the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd floors of the hospital. Patients and hospital personnel on the 1st and 2nd floors, along with those in the ER, were evacuated immediately.
The fire heavily damaged the hospital's electrical system and after hours of trying, engineers were unable to restore power. That's when the hospital decided to transfer all remaining hospital patients to area hospitals. Family and loved ones of the patients waited outside for hours to make sure they were okay.
The fire at Sierra Medical Center did not cause any injuries and the El Paso Fire Department says the incident was accidental.
Sierra Medical Center released the following statement:
"We take the health and safety of our patients, our employees and our visitors very seriously. We routinely practice for situations like this to ensure that we're able to respond quickly and appropriately. We're grateful to the entire public safety community in El Paso for their assistance today."
The Fire Department says Sierra Medical Center will be without power for at least 2 days. Approximately 70 patients have been evacuated from the facility so far and medical personnel are still working to transfer remaining patients.