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Bronx Hospital Fire Forces Evacuation

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Members of the FDNY Members of the FDNY (Al_HikesAZ/flickr)

A two-alarm fire in the basement of the Montefiore Medical Center Thursday afternoon forced hospital workers to move 170 patients from two intensive care units and two emergency rooms to unaffected areas of the building, according to a hospital spokesperson.

Some emergency room patients on stretchers and in wheelchairs were briefly rolled out onto the sidewalk, the hospital said. The scene surprised pharmacist Vipul Parekh, who works across the street.

"I saw about 10 to 15 beds. They had to pull the patients from the hospital so they were on the walkway on the side," he said.

The fire department said nine civilians and one firefighter were treated for smoke inhalation on the scene. One of those patients was sent to North Central Bronx hospital for further treatment, though a fire spokesman said all ten were minor injuries.

The FDNY said 250 staff were evacuated during the incident.

The blaze broke out just after 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in an oil burner in a basement generator room.

The emergency rooms and intensive care units were up and running as of 4:30 p.m. and Montefiore began accepting ambulances an hour later, according to a hospital spokesperson.

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