Firefighters were called to Shuswap Lake General Hospital Friday night, Sept. 23 to respond to a fire on Level 2 of the building, which the sprinkler system extinguished. Two patients were assessed for smoke inhalation. (File photo)

Firefighters were called to Shuswap Lake General Hospital Friday night, Sept. 23 to respond to a fire on Level 2 of the building, which the sprinkler system extinguished. Two patients were assessed for smoke inhalation. (File photo)

Damage from fire at Shuswap Lake General Hospital described as minor

Nineteen patients moved temporarily, firefighters pleased sprinkler system did its job

No serious injuries resulted from a fire at Shuswap Lake General Hospital on Friday night but two patients were checked for smoke inhalation.

The Salmon Arm Fire Department was paged at 7:20 p.m. Sept. 23 for what was tagged at first as a commercial alarm. However, that was soon upgraded to a structure fire, recounts Deputy Fire Chief Gary Lebeter.

When crews arrived on the hospital’s second floor where the alarm was coming from, the sprinkler system had activated and already extinguished the fire.

“Which was great, it had done what it was supposed to do,” Lebeter said.

There were two beds in the room and the two patients required assessment for smoke inhalation.

All 19 patients on Level 2 were safely evacuated to another area of the hospital, Interior Health reported, noting minor damage was isolated to the area of the fire.

Level 2 was temporarily closed as damage was assessed and repaired. Interior Health said Monday repairs have begun to the damaged area and some beds on Level 2 are expected to open next week.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation by the Salmon Arm Fire Department.

Lebeter said crew members helped move patients from the second to the fourth floor, as well as setting up ventilation fans to remove the smoke. He said there was a fair amount of water damage on the second floor, so firefighters “got busy with mops” to limit damage or accidents.

Interior Health said it would like to thank the Salmon Arm Fire Department, the RCMP and all staff who quickly came together to assist during the incident.

Read more: Couple proceeds with wedding amid chaos in P.E.I. from post-tropical storm Fiona

Read more: Indigenous teachings: Salmon Arm resident shares how to connect kids to nature




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