N Ireland hospital fire accidental

30 Nov 2012

The fire at Altnagelvin Hospital that set off a large evacuation began in a small electrical equipment storage room, according to a fire service spokesperson.

After fire broke through the tower block roof, the Co Londonderry hospital evacuated more than 100 patients from seven wards.

The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service investigation into the blaze concluded its cause was accidental.

"Although some additional forensic tests will need to be carried out and additional analysis conducted before the full fire investigation report is complete, the preliminary findings indicate that the fire started accidentally in a small room on the roof of the tower block, adjacent to the water storage tanks. This room contained some portable electrical equipment," an NIFRS spokeswoman said.

"The fire did not start in the fabric of the main building and was not caused by the fabric of the main building."

Fire investigators had a difficult time working to make a preliminary evaluation of the fire as the conditions of the place where the fire began proved challenging, the spokeswoman said.

The majority of the 120 patients who were evacuated were moved to other areas of Altnagelvin Hospital, or were accommodated at other Londonderry health care facilities.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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