Athol Hospital temporarily evacuated after electrical fire

Last modified: Tuesday, October 27, 2015
*Archive Article*
ATHOL — Athol Memorial Hospital was briefly evacuated Thursday morning after an appliance in the operating room caused an electrical fire.

Deputy Fire Chief Jeffrey Parker said the fire was first reported at 11:10 a.m., that there were no injuries and damage was contained to the third floor unit.

“Everything was under control and smoke was evacuated by 11:50 (a.m.),” he said.

According to Parker, the appliance that caught fire was a surgical sterilizer.

Amanda MacFadgen, director of marketing and public relations for Heywood Healthcare, said patients have since been let back onto all floors.

MacFadgen said one physician had a reaction after inhaling smoke and other emergency department physicians were called in to cover for her. Five emergency department patients were also transferred to Heywood Hospital in Gardner.

MacFadgen said all patients coming into the emergency room will be diverted to Heywood Hospital until about 3 p.m.

“We’re going to be cleaning and we estimate that by tomorrow morning, everything will be fully operational in the operating room again,” she said.

The Department of Public Health was also notified and MacFadgen said the hospital is “working closely with them during this time.”

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