*The following is a joint press release from the Idaho Falls Fire Department and Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center.
Idaho Falls, ID: At noon on Tuesday, Oct. 15 the Idaho Falls Fire Department was dispatched to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (EIRMC) at 3100 Channing Way in Idaho Falls for a structure fire.
Initially, Idaho Falls Emergency Dispatch received a fire alarm notification from EIRMC. One engine and a battalion chief were dispatched at that time to investigate the alarm call. Approximately one minute later, Dispatch received a call from EIRMC personnel reporting that there was smoke coming from the mechanical room near the Radiology Department on the first floor. The call was immediately upgraded to a commercial structure fire and additional units were dispatched, including two more engines, one ladder truck, two ambulances and one battalion chief. The fire chief, fire investigators and additional fire personnel responded shortly after the initial response. Idaho Falls Police Department was also dispatched to assist with traffic control.
When they arrived, firefighters found nothing showing from the outside of a large, six-story hospital. Upon entry to the mechanical room, they found flames and heavy smoke. Due to prompt notification from EIRMC personnel and IFFD response times, firefighters were able to extinguish the fire quickly and keep it contained to the mechanical room.
Fifteen EIRMC employees who were working in the Radiology Department at the time of the fire were evacuated. There was also one patient evacuated with the radiology staff. Due to the fire protection and smoke control systems in place at the hospital, all other EIRMC personnel and patients remained inside the hospital during the duration of the incident. With the exception of rescheduling regularly scheduled radiology appointments, EIRMC remained fully operational during the incident.
The EIRMC employees who were in the vicinity of the fire were evaluated by medics for smoke inhalation and released. There were no injuries to patients, civilians, EIRMC personnel or firefighters.
After the fire was extinguished, firefighters checked for fire extension on the roof as well as the floors above and rooms adjacent to the Radiology Department. They then ventilated the smoke from the hospital. At approximately 1:40 p.m., the command staff gave EIRMC personnel the all clear, at which time they returned to the hospital. The incident was turned over to EIRMC and IFFD’s Fire Prevention and Investigations Division at that time.
The estimated damages and cause of the fire are unknown at this time. The fire is under investigation.
IFFD: Public Information Officer, Kerry Hammon at (208) 612-8122 or [email protected].
EIRMC: Director of Marketing & Community Relations, Coleen Niemann at (208) 529-6213 or [email protected].