Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

April 4, 2013

Small mechanical fire strikes surgery center

Nicole Dominique
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — A small fire at Effingham Ambulatory Surgery Center was quickly contained Thursday morning.

A pump in the mechanical room was circulating water, Fire Chief Joe Holomy said, when it seized up, caught fire and triggered the alarm at 7:36 a.m.

When the Effingham Fire Department arrived about two minutes later, medical personnel were evacuating patients. Although no one was injured, ambulances were called so the patients did not have to wait in the cold.

When EFD went inside the building, they found that the smoke was contained to the mechanical room. Firefighters set to work removing the smoke with a ventilation fan, opening the second-story mechanical room door to aid in the process.

“We did a quick survey (of the center),” Holomy said. “The damage was limited to the pump... As soon as we did a sweep of the building, we started allowing patients back in.”

It was 7:56 a.m. when patients returned to the building.

Firefighters were picking up their equipment to leave the scene at 8:16 a.m.

“It was a good outcome,” Holomy said about the situation. "I want to commend the staff for doing such a good job in evacuating those people. Ironically, we just had a fire drill last week."

Nicole Dominique can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 138, or at nicole.dominique@effinghamdailynews.com.