Fire at Edmonds hospital confined to mechanical room

EDMONDS — A fire that created havoc at Swedish/Edmonds Hospital Thursday evening was caused by an electrical problem in a subbasement mechanical room, officials said.

Nobody was injured in the 7:10 p.m. incident, but about a dozen patients were moved to other hospitals as smoke moved up a stairwell and into parts of the building, Snohomish County Fire District 1 spokeswoman Leslie Hynes said.

Firefighters were already at the hospital when the problem was discovered.

“When the call came in, we had firefighters at the hospital who were just getting ready to leave after transporting patients. They immediately went to investigate and located a fire in an electrical room in a subbasement,” Hynes said.

Because of the potential for risk, the fire went to three alarms, summoning extra help. Crews from Fire District 1, Shoreline and Lynnwood responded. The flames were under control within about 30 minutes, Hynes said.

The subbasement where the fire began is located three levels below the hospital’s ground floor. It received the brunt of the damage. However, smoke drifted to areas where some of the estimated 120 patients at the hospital were being treated. Power also was knocked out to parts of the hospital. Most areas continued operation using emergency generators, and the majority of patients remained in their rooms, Hynes said.

A total of 11 patients were transferred by ambulance to Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Swedish/Ballard also received one patient who was going into labor, Hynes said.

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