A fire broke out in a washer for surgical instruments at St. Charles Bend early Wednesday, causing about $200,000 damage, but a fire sprinkler kept the damage from being far more severe, officials said.
Shortly before 6 a.m., Bend fire crews responded to the reported fire at the hospital on Northeast Neff Road, said Deputy Fire Marshal Cindy Kettering. They arrived to find light smoke coming from the lower level of the facility.
A single sprinkler head activated in the area and held the fire in check until crews arrived, Kettering said. There was some smoke and water damage to the lower level of the facility, and fire crews helped clear remaining smoke from the building.
The hospital’s lower-level floor, including the in-patient pharmacy, was closed for a time but had reopened by 7:30 a.m. Goodman said the hospital had resumed normal operations and that all scheduled caregivers should report to work as usual.
Kettering said the fire was a clear example of the value of fire sprinkler and fire alarm systems,” which helped to isolate the fire area and quickly move to protect staff and patients. The sprinkler system minimized damage and will allow operations to resume in a timely manner.