The City’s Fire and Rescue Services responded to a fire that broke out at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The City’s Fire and Rescue Services responded to a fire that broke out at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Faulty power supply system starts fire at Netcare’s Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital

By Nomalanga Tshuma Time of article published Nov 18, 2021

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Cape Town - Dozens of people including patients were evacuated to other spaces inside the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital on Wednesday when a fire broke out on the roof due to a faulty uninterrupted power supply (UPS) system.

The hospital’s regional general manager Louis van der Hoven confirmed the incident and said safety officials had traced the fire back to a faulty UPS on the roof.

“Netcare 911 paramedics, together with hospital staff members, ensured that the 12th, 14th and 16th floors of the hospital were evacuated to other areas of the hospital. This was done as a precautionary measure, as some smoke had been released into the air conditioning system.

“The fire chief visited the hospital and declared the building safe. Patients, doctors and staff members were moved back to their floors. Ensuring the safety and well-being of our patients in the hospital is as always our primary concern, and we are thankful no one suffered any harm from the incident,” said Van der Hoven.

The City’s Fire and Rescue Services responded to the incident, dispatching fire crews from Roeland Street and Milnerton.

Spokesperson Jermaine Carelse said: “We received an emergency call yesterday afternoon regarding a fire at the Christian Barnard Hospital. Upon arrival, most of the patients had been evacuated from their rooms to the lobby area.

“Firefighters found a small fire in the uninterrupted power supply room, on the 17th floor, and managed to extinguish the fire. The area was ventilated and subsequently declared safe at 4.48pm.”

The City’s Fire and Rescue Services responded to a fire that broke out at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)
The City's fire and rescue services and other role players respond to a fire that broke out at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Picture: Armand Hough African News Agency (ANA)
The City’s Fire and Rescue Services responded to a fire that broke out at the Netcare Christiaan Barnard Memorial Hospital. Picture: Armand Hough/African News Agency(ANA)

Milnerton resident Denise Glezer-Jones, who was at the hospital at the time of the fire, said: “I was accompanying my son who was scheduled to have an operation at 5pm. We were standing at the admissions desk when I started smelling smoke.

“I remember chatting with the lady at the desk jokingly saying that someone must have left their food in the microwave too long when my son said no it smelt like plastic.”

“Soon after that, we noticed more people coming down the stairs as the elevators were being closed off. I recognised someone I know who explained that they had heard over the intercom while on the fourteenth floor that they had been notified to come down as there was a fire in the building.

“There was no panic, everyone seemed calm and we moved outside. I got a bit cold so we moved to a café nearby while we waited to be told what would happen next,” she said.

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