An electrical problem is believed to be behind the smoke at Stephens Memorial Hospital.

NORWAY – A short circuit in wiring related to recent construction is believed to be the source of smoke that forced the temporary evacuation of Stephens Memorial Hospital on Friday afternoon, a spokesman for the Office of the State Fire Marshal said. on Monday.

The results of the investigation are preliminary, spokeswoman Shannon Moss said. The Fire Department completed its investigation and deemed the building safe to re-enter around 9pm on Friday.

“There was no active fire,” but there was serious smoke damage, hospital spokeswoman Abbie Graiver said in a statement released on Monday.

It is unclear which building Moss was referring to, and she and Graiver did not respond to subsequent inquiries about the fire’s source.

The hospital’s emergency department reopened with lab and imaging support about an hour and a half after state investigators cleared the site. All other hospital services were closed for the remainder of the weekend, with outpatient services resuming Monday morning.

Medical practices were not affected.

The hospital wrote on its Facebook page Sunday night that all patients with appointments at Western Maine Pediatrics, Western Maine OB/GYN, Western Maine Surgery, Western Maine Primary Care, Stephens Center for Specialty Care, Stephens Physical Rehabilitation or for laboratory , imaging, infusion , cardiopulmonary testing and COVID-19 services should arrive as scheduled.

All inpatient hospital services remain closed.

“The construction crews, in partnership with our engineering team and the Service Master, have been working around the clock to bring the affected units back into service,” said Graiver.

The family’s birthplace – the hospital’s labor and delivery unit – and sections of the surgical unit remain under repair and more information on its reopening is expected later this week.

The Norwegian Fire Brigade responded to a fire alarm activated at the hospital on Lower Main Street at around 2:15 pm on Friday. Shortly after his arrival, calls were made to area fire and rescue teams for assistance in removing patients.

A second alarm sounded around 3:30 pm.

All 21 patients left by 7:30 pm, Graiver said.

The hospital is a 25-bed critical access facility.

Eleven of the patients were transferred to other facilities, including Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, New Hampshire, Mid Coast Hospital in Brunswick, Market Square Health Care Center in Paris and Norway Rehabilitation Center.

The other 10 patients were discharged.

The Norwegian Fire Brigade posted an update on its Facebook page earlier on Saturday.

“The hospital was evacuated and a first alarm structure fire was reached,” according to the post. “It attracted Norway, Paris, Oxford, PACE, Norway PD, Maine Fire Marshals Service and West Paris fire. Moments later, command updated the link with Harrison and Bridgton to the scene. Greenwood and Woodstock provided station coverage for Norway and Paris. Oxford was being covered by Poland.

“With the hospital being evacuated,” the post continues, “ambulances from PACE, Oxford Rescue, Med-Care, United Ambulance, Bethel Rescue, Stoneham Rescue, Buckfield Rescue, Turner Rescue and Fryeburg Rescue were brought to the scene to assist with transport. patients to other hospitals. The problem was found at the hospital and treated.”

When contacted on Monday, a member of the Norwegian Fire Brigade declined to give further details. Chief Dennis Yates did not respond to an email on Monday afternoon.

Sun Journal staff writer Mark LaFlamme contributed to this report.


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An electrical problem is believed to be behind the smoke at Stephens Memorial Hospital.

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