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Royal Marsden Hospital blaze

3rd January 2008

Investigations are now under way to try to establish how the fire that swept through the Royal Marsden Hospital in London started.

The blaze meant operations were stopped and patients and staff led to safety after the fire broke out at a hospital regarded as one of the world’s leading cancer treatment centres.

At the height of the blaze, which started on the fourth floor of the Chelsea hospital, up to 125 fire fighters were called in to tackle the flames but only four people needed treatment and that was for the effects of smoke.

The investigation into the fire looks set to focus on an area of the hospital where construction work was under way.

David Brown, assistant commissioner of the London Fire Brigade, said: “A plant room has been involved in the fire but it is too early to say exactly where the fire started.?

Five operating theatres and two wards have been badly affected while much of the roof was destroyed by the fire.

About 800 staff and up to 160 patients and outpatients were moved to safety from the hospital, including two anaesthetised patients undergoing surgery at the time. The pair were safely taken off their ventilators and moved to a neighbouring hospital.

Other patients were laid on mattresses in an ambulance area near the hospital or transferred to the Royal Brompton Hospital.

The Royal Marsden was the first hospital in the world dedicated to cancer treatment and research and sees more than 40,000 patients a year.

 

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