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Patient starts fire in Powell River General Hospital’s ICU ward

A scary situation at Powell River General Hospital.

Just after 8:00pm last night, Powell River Fire Rescue received a report of fire alarms going off in the hospital’s ICU ward.

According to Deputy fire chief Rocky Swanson, staff pulled the alarm because a patient reportedly started a fire.

“That fire was not large, it was isolated to a very small room, probably a 20×20 room, but it involved medical oxygen, so it was fairly significant in its danger. The individual that started that fire had to be intubated.”

The Powell River RCMP confirmed that the fire was started by an ICU patient,  however police say they “do not believe that (it) was set deliberately.”

Swanson said there wasn’t any significant damage to the hospital other than damage to the floor and some equipment, “but obviously the potential hazards and danger to any patients in ICU was significant.”

He pointed out that hospital staff attacked the fire “rapidly”, basically extinguishing it, and then Powell River fire crews and “multiple RCMP officers” arrived shortly afterwards.

Swanson applauded the hospital staff, adding that they were “absolute heroes.”

“Obviously this caused significant stress on the staff but they were magnificent in their approach to this, from their security team members to their hospital administrators, to the doctor,” he added. “They were bringing in staff members immediately to deal with any stress or trauma. They were outstanding.”

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