Hundreds of patients and staff are being evacuated from the Signature Healthcare-Brockton Hospital after a massive fire in a transformer room forced responders to cut off power to the entire hospital, Brockton fire authorities said.
Emergency generators that would have otherwise kept the hospital running were turned off by National Grid to allow fire crews to safely enter the building and snuff out the blaze. At its height, fire officials declared the blaze a nine-alarm fire at around 7 a.m. Tuesday.
Lorraine McGrath, spokesperson for Brockton Hospital, said hospital workers were working with nearby health care facilities to "come up with a plan of action for all patients," and that they were evaluating all patients for possible transfer.
During a press conference Tuesday morning, Brockton Fire Chief Brian Nardelli said some of the hospital's critically ill and injured patients were already being moved.
"The problem is we have to make sure that we have the resources to be able to move some of these sick and injured patients out of hospital," Nardelli said. "Time is a big issue with these patients, and we need to make sure that we can get them to an appropriate facility, but we have to move them there swiftly so they're not out of hospital too long."
Nardelli said hospital personnel reported 187 patients that morning, but he suggested that number may not accurately reflect the number of patients discharged.
No injures have been reported. And the fire was mostly extinguished by later Tuesday morning, the chief said.
The cause of the fire is being investigated.
This is a developing story. It will be updated as more information becomes available.