Patients evacuated as computer suite catches fire at Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney
Almost 30 bed-bound patients had to be evacuated from their wards after a fire at a hospital for people with neuro-disabilities.
Firefighters were called to the Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in West Hill, Putney, at about 9.30pm on Friday to reports of a fire in the hospital's therapy computer room.
Crews from Wandsworth, Battersea, Tooting, Sutton, Wimbledon, Kingston and Fulham all attended, with firefighters wearing breathing apparatus evacuating patients on mattresses to another part of the hospital.
In total, 27 patients from Clifden, Devonshire and Coombs wards were evacuated to other wards while the fire was extinguished.
A London Ambulance spokeswoman said one person was taken to St George's Hospital in Tooting as a precaution for smoke inhilation.
They have since been discharged and returned to the hospital in Putney.
Royal Hospital for Neuro-disability in Putney
Wandsworth fire station's Green Watch manager Andrew Wildsmith said: "There was a fire in a computer room.
"We took about six fire engines plus some other supplies, and we had to use quite a few BA ([breathing apparatus] wearers.
"We carried out a phased evacuation of some of the patients to a safer part of the hospital.
"We moved about 20 to 30 people. They were all bed bound, so we had to drag them out on special mattresses with handles, in the most dignified way we could.
"There were no injuries, just lots of firefighters working very, very hard."
Mr Wildsmith said about 50 per cent of the computer room was damaged by the fire.
All 27 patients that were evacuated have since returned to their wards
A letter from Royal Hospital chief executive Angus Somerville is being circulated to family members of patients, which reads: "This was clearly a serious incident, but I am pleased to say that the staff on duty, and others who came in on being alerted, dealt with the incident commendably.
"The safety and welfare of your loved one remained paramount throughout."
The hospital's official Twitter account also posted a notice to relatives over night which said: "We had a fire Fri eve contained to a therapy room. No patients or staff hurt. 27 people moved to other wards as precaution".
The cause of the fire is still under investigation.
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