Sunday, January 25, 2015

Fire at West Cumberland hospital destroys energy centre - thankfully no casualties.

The  Whitehaven News Website reports that there was a serious fire in the boiler house at West Cumberland hospital on Friday night. Firefighters arrived at the hospital at 10.45pm on Friday evening and worked for four hours through the night to control the fire.

WCH's biomass fuel plant was destroyed in the fire.

Mercifully there were no reports of injuries and the hospital was not evacuated. It is understood there was no impact on the rest of the hospital.

At the height of the blaze there were five fire engines at the scene. Specialist fire investigators were due to return on Saturday to look into the cause of the blaze.

North Cumbria University Hospitals NHS Trust said all services continue to run as normal but there will be a knock on effect for the move in date of services to the new building, which was planned for April this year.

In a statement, the Trust said: 

"This has come as absolutely devastating news to the Trust, to staff and the new hospital project team who were gearing up for a formal handover of keys next week. It is unclear at this very early stage, how the fire broke out or how long the energy centre will take to repair."

Ann Farrar, the Trust's chief executive, added: “This is absolutely devastating for me, the staff and the local community. We must let the investigators do their job to understand why this has happened at this time. We were all looking forward to moving into the new hospital and none of us can believe this has happened."

Les Morgan, project director for the new West Cumberland Hospital said: "The whole team are feeling pretty distraught this morning at this news which will also come as a shock for our staff. The whole organisation was gearing up for the big move in April and we can’t quite believe this has happened.

“It is unclear at this stage the exact circumstances surrounding the fire which will need to be formally investigated by the fire service. The people of West Cumbria can be absolutely reassured that we will work as hard as we possibly can to get things back on track as quickly as possible.”

“We'd like to stress that this has had no impact on patient care and all services continue as normal."

Let's all just be very grateful that, thank God, nobody was hurt and that there was not too much damage other than to the boiler house and biomass plant - and thank our brave firefighters for their efforts.


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