Fire at New Zealand hospital destroys laundry

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

A fire on Tuesday night at Southland Hospital, Invercargill has destroyed a two-storey building which was used for laundry and cleaning by the cleaning company Alsco.

Junior doctors and interns were evacuated from the nearby hospital campus. A dangerous goods store nearby nearby was saved from the fire. The building was not close enough to the new main hospital building to cause any damage to it.

Morris Robertson, Fire Chief, said: "We managed to save a dangerous goods store near the fire but the laundry is a total loss."

Fire crews arrived at the scene at 9.30 p.m. (NZST) and Morris Robertson said that the building was well ablaze when they arrived. The first was so severe that they had to call in other firefighters to help, including volunteers. In total there was eight fire engines and 35 firefighters.

The fire was under control by 11.30 p.m. but the fire crews stayed overnight, just in case.

The cause of the fire has not yet been determined.