Electrical fire causes 209-patient evacuation of Bayonet Point

Evan Axelbank, Josh Cascio report

- An electrical fire at Bayonet Point Regional Medical Center forced all patients to be evacuated Wednesday evening.

The hospital set up a number for families to call for reunification. That number is 877-344-1313, option 9.

The fire, which started in the generator room, was extinguished in the first 10 minutes of crews being on the scene, but emergency and back-up power had to be cut to the buildings. Just after 10 p.m., Pasco County officials said 15-percent of  power had been restored to some of the hospital, but evacuations would continue for some time. 

Ambulances were coming to the hospital to help move patients. At least 40 ambulances were being sent from as far away as Orange County.

An evacuation bus was also on the hospital property and roads were being blocked to make way for emergency personnel. Andrew Fossa with Pasco County Fire Rescue said this was the first time a full-scale evacuation of the hospital had been done.

There are almost 300 patients under the hospital's care. Twelve of the patients evacuated were considered critical. Some had to be walked down staircases because elevators were out of order. 

Fossa said intensive care patients and critical patients were prioritized for evacuation. There were no reports of additional injuries to patients or crews during the incident.

Fossa was not sure how long the power outage would last. He said Bayonet Point called in special contractors to try and get power back on as soon as possible.

Foss added, "well over 100 people" were called in to fight the fire, help with patients and evacuations and restore the power.

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