March 11, 2013
Children's Hospital construction site fire likely deliberately set
WINNIPEG CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL
An investigation is pointing towards an intentionally set fire at a building under construction at the Winnipeg Children's Hospital.
“At this time, the cause of the fire appears to have been deliberately set,” said a Winnipeg Police press release.
“Please note that no device or explosive is believed to have been used. No arrest(s) have been made at this time. The investigation is continuing by members of the Arson Strike Force Unit.”
Emergency personnel responded to a fire at Winnipeg Children’s Hospital on March 5, 2013 at about 11:30 p.m.
Firefighters located a fire that was mainly contained to the open construction area adjacent to the hospital.
Smoke from the fire entered the Health Sciences Centre, which resulted in the evacuation of 92 inpatients and 10 patients.
Children, including patients in the neonatal and pediatric intensive care units, were moved down stairwells and relocated within the building by staff and parents.
They also had to move cribs, beds and medical supplies. No injuries were reported.
Staff members remained on-site and others came to work through the night to deal with the effects of the fire, which helped with the quick evacuation and return of patients.
Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service reviewed the air quality and safety of hospital once the blaze was extinguished.
All inpatients displaced from the building were returned to their units by noon on March 6, after the hospital was cleaned up by housekeeping services.
Some children’s elective surgeries were postponed.
Police say someone broke into the closed construction site and lit the fire, which caused serious damage to the diagnostic building.
There is no cost estimate for the damage at this time.
This discovery changes the nature of the investigation. But, the police aren't using the word "arson." However, they are describing the fire as incendiary.
The new diagnostic-imaging centre will be a seven-storey building with 91,000-square-feet of space. It will be linked to the Children’s Hospital, the Ann Thomas Building and the new Women’s Hospital.
The $59-million building will house a new pediatric MRI and associated waiting room, nursing station and support spaces, a new CT scanner, a digital radiography suite incorporating existing equipment from the Ann Thomas Building, a new operating room angiography suite, replacement of the shared adult/pediatric cardiac catheterization laboratory, consolidation of remaining pediatric diagnostic imaging programs (ultrasound, fluoroscopy and radiology viewing) from the Children’s Hospital andrelocated vascular and neuroangiography laboratories.
In addition, the new centre will be the first health facility in Manitoba to have a heliport.
The 60-by-60-foot rooftop landing pad will meet an H1 aircraft classification and accommodate twin-engine helicopters.
The heliport will provide direct elevator access to the Ann Thomas Building emergency rooms and operating theatres.
Bockstael Construction Limited is the prime contractor on the project with a $39 million fixed price contract.
The delay is expected to add months to the project, which was scheduled for completion in spring 2014.
The Health Sciences Centre in Winnipeg is the largest health care centre in Manitoba. It employs about 8,000 staff and volunteers, who serve people in Manitoba, northwestern Ontario and Nunavut.
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