Fire Prompts Evacuation At Local Hospital
Housekeeper Quickly Extinguishes Blaze
November 18, 2002

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- A fire on the ninth floor of a hospital in Daytona Beach prompted the quick evacuation of dozens of patients Monday.

It happened at Halifax Medical Center at U.S. Highway 92 and Clyde Morris Boulevard, WESH NewsChannel 2 reported.

A 62-year-old patient, who was smoking in bed, apparently caused the fire when a cigarette ignited some bedding and spread to a mattress, officials said.

The patient suffered minor burns to her hands, reports indicated.

A housekeeper smelled the smoke and battled the fire with an extinguisher and fire hose. She is being treated for smoke inhalation.

Forty-three patients have been moved to other rooms while workers clean up the floor.

Daytona Beach Fire Department representative Lt. Jim Bland said it was a good thing the fire was put out quickly.

"It's extremely dangerous, especially when you factor in how flammable pure oxygen is, and that can be quite deadly, quite fast. It can cause a real intense fire rapidly," Bland said.

Hospital officials said they hope to begin moving patients back on the floor before the end of the day.

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