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Fire forces evacuation of Westmead Hospital ER

Electricians joined firefighters to tame a “large” blaze which broke out at Westmead Hospital on Friday night.

Emergency crews arrived on site about 7pm after reports of a fire had broken out in an electrical substation in the hospital’s emergency department basement. The blaze was contained three hours later.

Emergency service flocked to the hospital. Picture: Damian Shaw
media_cameraEmergency service flocked to the hospital. Picture: Damian Shaw

A Fire and Rescue spokesman told The Saturday Telegraph a team of electricians would be escorted into the basement to help isolate the substation’s power and help crews find a way to extinguish the “difficult” inferno.

“We’ll escort in a team of electricians fully masked from the smoke to help assist in a complete shut off of the affected elements from the fire,” he said.

“We’re still applying carbon dioxide, it’s been a difficult job, but we’re hoping this will help us make progress.

More than 200 people, including 60 patients and 140 staff, were evacuated from the building when the blaze broke out.

No one was reported hurt.

An interim emergency department has been set up at another location on the hospital’s campus.

Fire trucks pictured line up outside Westmead Hospital. Picture: Damian Shaw
media_cameraFire trucks pictured line up outside Westmead Hospital. Picture: Damian Shaw

More than a dozen fire trucks, including multiple large hazmat units, lit up Darcy Rd as police blocked off the entrances to the hospital. Units from across the region rolled into the area, signalling the size of the operation.

Visitors to the hospital watched on in shock at the sheer size of the response as they waited to find where relatives had been taken, having just arrived at the nearby on-site carpark which remained open

The ER was temporarily relocated. Picture by Damian Shaw
media_cameraThe ER was temporarily relocated. Picture by Damian Shaw

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