Hospital Fire Triggers Evacuation in Louisiana


| Tuesday, February 19, 2008

NEW ROADS, La. -- Pointe Coupee General Hospital in New Roads, La., was fully operational Sunday afternoon, hours after a fire caused administrators to evacuate the hospital, a hospital spokeswoman said.

No one was injured when smoke filled the 25-bed hospital, at 350 Hospital Road, and flames were spotted in the radiology department about 6 a.m. Sunday, hospital spokeswoman Maggie Jarreau said.

Firefighters almost immediately had the flames under control while nine patients in the hospital were evacuated to a building connected by a breezeway, she said.

Three critically ill patients were transported by Acadian Ambulance Service to Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center in Baton Rouge while smoke was cleared from the building, Jarreau said. The hospital opened to full capacity by 5 p.m.

Jarreau said the hospital's emergency operations plan -- or Code Red -- went into effect as soon as the smoke alarms went off.

A representative of the fire marshal's office was at the hospital Sunday trying to determine an exact cause for the fire, but it was believed to have started with faulty wiring, Jarreau said. The fire marshal's office gave the hospital approval to reopen, she said.

A spokesman for the New Roads Volunteer Fire Department was unavailable Sunday afternoon.

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