Bend, OR -- A fire broke out in a washer meant for cleaning surgical equipment at the St. Charles Bend Hospital. An overhead fire sprinkler quickly activated and prevented the fire from spreading.
The fire forced the closure of some areas of the hospital and the cancellation of elective surgeries.
The fire was reported around 6am. Bend fire crews arrived quickly and found light smoke. They discovered that a washer used to clean surgical tools caught fire. A single sprinkler activated and kept the fire in check, allowing fire crews the time to arrive and finish extinguishing it. There was only slight damage from smoke and water from the fire.
Investigators determined that a heating element in the washer had failed, overheated, and caused the fire.
Fire Chief Kettering said this fire is a clear example of the importance of fire sprinkler and alarm systems "which helped to isolate the fire area and quickly move to protect staff and patients."
Chief Kettering went on to say, "Without properly maintained and operational fire sprinkler systems, the damage from today's fire would have undoubtedly been far more severe."
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