All surgeries and endoscopies rescheduled due to fire at Cambridge Memorial Hospital

Cambridge Memorial Hospital is rescheduling all surgeries and endoscopies planned for Wednesday after a fire at the hospital Tuesday afternoon. 

The fire was on the roof of Wing B. It triggered an evacuation, which meant patients and staff needed to be moved from Wing B to Wing A or C, hospital president and CEO Patrick Gaskin said during a news conference Tuesday.

“In terms of fracture clinic, surgical daycare or laboratory staff, we had staff and patients evacuated horizontally into the safety of Wing A and or Wing C,” he said. 

Wing B had been mostly closed and unoccupied due to renovations happening in the area. Gaskin said the fire caused smoke to “seep” through Wing B and parts of Wing A and C.

Cambridge Fire responded to the call at around 1:30 p.m. and gave the hospital the all clear at 5:30 p.m. No one was injured.

Smoke and water damage

The hospital experienced smoke and water damage as a result of the fire and 10 patient beds were impacted, said Stephanie Pearsall, vice president of clinic programs and chief nursing executive.

“We have safely placed those 10 patients elsewhere,” she said, adding patients who were moved due to smoke were later moved back after the fire department tested air quality and gave the all clear. 

Pearsall said the hospital’s infection and prevention control team and environmental services team toured the hospital to gauge clean-up required due to the smoke and water damage.

“Because of that we made a decision that we would cancel endoscopy and operating rooms [Wednesday], which we understand has significant impact on patients again, but we really want to make sure the areas are safe,” she said.

“We’re very hopeful we’ll be back to business Thursday, but we will make that call [Wednesday].”

Pearsall said no medical equipment was damaged and the hospital is gradually ramping up to regular operations.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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