Internal review into fire at Limerick hospital

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THE UL Hospitals Group is to conduct an internal review of fire safety procedures at University Hospital Limerick (UHL) after 96 patients were evacuated from the hospital when a fire broke out there in the early hours of last Tuesday morning.

The group operates six hospitals across Limerick, Clare and North Tipperary, including the Model Four UHL which provides the only 24-hour emergency department in the Mid West and is regularly overcrowded.

A spokesman for the group said that after the fire broke out, patients moved to the designated fire assembly point adjacent to the ambulance bay, and less mobile patients were transferred to the outpatients department.

“Patients in the Covid stream were transferred to a separate area adjacent to the emergency department,” he added.

“An internal review will be conducted into the incident which has been logged on the hospital’s risk management system to inform future responses to such incidents”.

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The hospital confirmed that Limerick Fire Service attended a car fire in an underground car park after staff were alerted to the blaze and a member of the public also contacted emergency services.

The car went on fire in the car park beneath the hospital’s Critical Care Block at approximately 00.45am. Two people who were in the car park were uninjured.

“As smoke began to enter the Emergency Department on the ground floor, staff evacuated the department at approximately 1am. This evacuation of 96 patients was effected without any incident,” the spokesman said.

“At 01.26am all patients and staff returned to the emergency department, after  the area made safe by Limerick Fire Service. No patients, staff or members of the public were harmed.”