Patients unharmed by $40,000 blaze
The smoky fire that forced the evacuation of three
floors at El Camino Hospital last week began in a
supply cabinet on the fourth floor, although its cause
is still uncertain, Mountain View Fire Department
spokesperson Lynn Brown said Monday.
The Feb. 22 blaze caused $40,000 in fire, water and
smoke damage to equipment, according to hospital spokesperson
Patients in the fourth, fifth and sixth floors on
the west side of El Camino's bed tower were evacuated
to protect them from the fire's smoke.
Fourth-floor patients, who had recently undergone
heart procedures and needed constant monitoring ,
were moved to the second floor and the emergency departments,
where there was extra room. Half of these patients
have returned to the fourth floor.
Fifth-floor patients, who were recovering from surgeries,
and sixth-floor patients, who had medical ailments,
went back to their original rooms later on the day
of the fire.
None of the patients suffered from effects of the
smoke or of the moves, said Twitchell.
"It happened smoothly and quickly, and nobody
had to go outside," she added.
Fire investigators suspect the fire started when
9-volt batteries stored in a supply cabinet contacted
metal and ignited a flame, said Brown.
"That's the best cause we have right now,"
he said. "We're trying to go through and be sure."
Brown noted the hospital's alarm system worked well
and exactly pinpointed the origin of the fire, which
was put out in minutes. Employees who shut the door
of the room the fire was in also helped to contain
it, he added.