Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service have told how over 100 firefighters successfully fought a ferocious a fire at the Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. Although they succeeded in preventing the blaze from spreading there are fears that the £800,000 MRI scanner at the Winchester and Eastleigh Health Care Trust’s flagship hospital has been destroyed.
Crews from Winchester, Eastleigh, Romsey, Burley, Alresford and as far away as Havant rushed to the scene at 4 pm today.
Initial fire crews were faced with a rapidly developing fire in the MRI building of the hospital. They quickly set to work to contain the fire and bring the blaze under control.
Officer in charge Mick Crennell said,
“The MRI section was well alight and the fire was threatening to spread to the main hospital building. The crews worked extremely hard in their initial attack on the fire. Due to the swift action and coordinated approach the crews were able to prevent the fire spreading to the rest of the hospital. The hospital did a fantastic job with evacuating people quickly and safely which meant no one was hurt. This would have no doubt been a much more serious incident had it not been for the firefighters who have worked hard in arduous conditions.
In a relatively short period of time, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service were able to liaise with the police and the hospital to ensure a coordinated approach in dealing with patients coming to both the maternity ward and the accident and emergency department.
Crews will remain at the scene damping down and making the scene safe into the night.
The daily Mail has reported that the main MRI scanner which was only commissioned in 2009 has been completely consumed in the conflagration.
A fire investigation will commence at 09:00 tomorrow (Saturday 10 December) to determine the cause of the fire.
The A&E department is also expected to reopen tomorrow. Patients in need of emergency treatment are currently being diverted to Southampton and Basingstoke.
See also: Hospital fire gridlocks Winchester