Hundreds of patients evacuated after multi-alarm blaze knocks out power at Brockton Hospital

BROCKTON, Mass. — Hundreds of patients were evacuated from Brockton Hospital after a nine-alarm transformer fire broke out Tuesday morning, prompting a massive emergency response.

The hospital has set up a family reunification hotline for families looking to locate patients who may have been moved from the hospital to another location. Family members are being asked to call 617-370-5971, and if they get voicemail, to leave their full name and phone number to receive a callback.

Fire departments from a number of neighboring South Shore communities were called in to battle the blaze as emergency crews swept the inside of the healthcare facility on Centre Street and worked to help about 125 patients get to safety, officials said.

The blaze was knocked down shortly before 9:30 a.m. but evacuations continued because the fire forced crews to cut the power to the building, according to Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli. It’s not clear when the power will be restored.

A Hazmat team is conducting air quality testing in the hospital due to a strong chemical smell in some areas.

More than two dozen ambulances could be seen lining up outside the hospital to transport the displaced patients to other locations. The Red Cross is assisting as well.

About 200 patients in total were inside the hospital when the fire started in a basement transformer room, Nardelli said.

“We were able to make our way down to the transformer room, which was energized at the time,” Nardelli explained. “We had to wait for National Grid to assist us getting it shut down.”

Nardelli noted that the situation was “overly dangerous” due to the potential for electrocution issues.

Sick and injured patients were prioritized and quickly led out to safety for transport to other local hospitals but patients of all ages, including infants, were seen being carried and stretchered out of the building.

“We are removing critically ill patients who require immediate treatment,” Nardelli said.

A Beth Israel Lahey Health nurse told Boston 25 that they are preparing to accept some of the evacuated patients.

Firefighters, police officers, and EMTs were called to the scene around 7 a.m. for a report of a blaze at the facility, according to the Brockton Emergency Management Agency.

“We ask residents to please avoid the area as there are multiple public safety personnel working and responding to the scene,” BEMA said in a statement.

The Hanover, Whitman, Stoughton, Holbrook, West Bridgewater, Bridgewater, Easton, Randolph, and Sharon fire departments all responded to the hospital to assist Brockton crews in their response.

Video from the scene showed smoke pouring out of the building as dozens upon dozens of firefighters swarmed the area.

There were no reported injuries in the fire.

Massachusetts State Police investigators assigned to the State Fire Marshal’s Office are assisting with an investigation into the cause of the blaze.

In a statement, Signature Healthcare says that elective procedures are cancelled through the end of the day Friday, February 10.

“Signature Healthcare would like to express our sincerest gratitude to our front-line staff and first responders,” they wrote in a statement. “Hospital staff is currently reaching out to patients’ family members and healthcare proxies regarding the transport of these patients to other area hospitals.”

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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