15 patients who were sleeping in Rhea Medical Center
in Dayton Tennessee got quite a scare Wednesday night.
They awoke to the smell of smoke and fire alarms
All of the patients and hospital staff got out quickly
without getting hurt.
About midnight fire started in a roof-mounted air
conditioner unit near a nurses station.
Tiffany Ashley, the nurse on duty, saw sparks flying
and the hallway filling with smoke. She pulled the
alarm, called 911, and with other staff got patients
One of them put the fire out before firefighters
Thursday most of the patient-room furniture and equipment
was in the hallway as crews cleaned up the soot and
took the time to do other maintenance like stripping
and waxing floors.
It was a night they won't forget.
"It seemed like it lasted forever, it really
did. But they said, we had it timed and everything,
and it was actually only ten minutes, but it was very
scary," Ashley said.
Rhea Medical Center CEO Ken Croom said "we are
really proud of the staff, they acted quickly. Even
staff from other departments came, and also families
of the patients that were here were helping to move
people so we thought it was very nice."
Investigators said wiring on a recently installed
air conditioner over heated and caused the fire. Damage
Three patients were transferred to other hospitals
while the others went home.