JOHOR BARU: Syafaat Ismail got the scare of his life when the ward at Hospital Sultanah Aminah where his wife was receiving treatment caught fire.
The 28-year-old was waiting for his wife outside the hospital’s Women Medical Ward 1 when the fire broke out at 3.08pm yesterday.
“I saw smoke billowing out from the back of the ward and got worried.
“The ward then went dark as the electricity supply was cut off and things started to get chaotic, ” he said when met near the ward.
Thankfully, he said the blaze was quickly contained and put out completely in less than 30 minutes.
Twenty-four patients were in the ward when the fire broke out and no injuries were recorded.
On Oct 25,2016, a major fire occurred at the hospital, killing six patients.
Health Minister Datuk Dr Adham Baba said the experience of that tragedy made the hospital staff act quickly during the latest incident.
Dr Adham, who visited the ward, said all 24 patients there had been evacuated and transferred to other nearby wards and to Hospital Permai.
“No injuries or deaths were reported and all patients, including those who were in critical condition, were rescued.
“The news about two patients dying in the fire that had gone viral is untrue, ” he told a press conference.
He added that the building, which could house about 50 patients, would be closed for the time being for investigation.
Also present at the media conference were state Health and Environment Committee chairman R. Vidyananthan and Johor Fire and Rescue Department director Datuk Yahaya Madis.
When contacted after the press conference, Dr Adham said the medical staff from the hospital were trained to face such incidents as the hospital had gone through the 2016 fire tragedy.
“The medical staff acted quickly and shut down equipment that could have allow the fire to spread further.
“We are still awaiting the report from the Fire and Rescue Department to find out the cause of the fire, ” he said.
Asked to comment on an independent investigation on the 2016 fire that broke out at the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital, which was published by a health news portal, the minister declined to answer.
“The issue is under police investigation so I should not comment on it, ” he said.
An editor of the portal which published the article has recently been questioned by the police.
Meanwhile, Yahaya said 42 fire and rescue personnel were deployed to the location.
“The fire involved the oxygen panel, vacuum, call bell and a switch at the bed of patient No. 5.
“The hospital staff had tried to put out the fire using a dry powder fire extinguisher but failed.
“The Fire Department arrived at the location at about 3.15pm and managed to put out the flames at about 3.17pm, ” he said in a statement later.
He said the situation was fully under control by 3.29pm.
News and photos source from: thestar.com