[cifnmedia] Sprinklers snuff hospital blaze

  • From: <gmcgrath@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "Sean Aaron" <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>,"Brad B Dietrick" <Bradfurniturefirst@xxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 26 Feb 2004 14:14:57 -0500

Sprinklers snuff hospital blaze

By Pete Macinta, Daily Banner 
CAMBRIDGE - Quick action by hospital staff, an operational sprinkler system and 
teamwork by emergency workers resulted in minimal damage and no injuries after 
a blaze broke out at the Eastern Shore Hospital Center Monday night.

At 6:11 p.m., Dorchester Central alerted Cambridge Rescue Fire Company (RFC) to 
the situation after receiving calls that a fire alarm had been activated in the 
Wicomico unit of the hospital.

"I saw smoke coming out of the doorway. There was a lot of smoke in one wing. 
We had a closet in one room on fire," said Calvin Stack, first assistant chief 
of RFC. "The sprinkler system was on, was activated, and was putting the fire 

Mr. Stack continued, "We went in and cleaned up around the area, and did help 
get the water out of the building."

On the scene were all three fire chief units, four engines, a tower truck, and 
a rescue truck from Cambridge RFC. AAA Transport, a private ambulance service, 
was also present, along with city police.

Cambridge RFC units cleared the scene by 7:44 p.m.

After the fire started, hospital staff quickly moved patients out of the wing 
into another area of the hospital.

"We're proud of the way our staff handled it and want to thank the other 
agencies in the county involved. They were magnificent," said CEO of ESHC Mary 
Kay Noren.

The incident was investigated by the State Fire Marshal's Office, the Cambridge 
Police Department and the hospital security chief.

A report released by the State Fire Marshal's office Tuesday morning indicated 
that it took only five minutes to control the blaze. Fifteen firefighters were 

According to the report, a patient ignited combustible material in the room, 
and the "sprinkler system activated and extinguished the fire before further 
damage could occur." The investigation is continuing.

The report also indicated that the approximate loss involving the structure was 
$1,000, and $500 involving contents.

Staff writer Pete Macinta can be reached at (410) 228-3728 or by email at 

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