Fire investigator, Assistant Fire Marshal Rachel Smith, has determined the area of origin for the fire at Women's and Children's Hospital on Monday, July 29, 2019 was the west side of the top edge of the rooftop, elevator mechanical room. The cause of the fire is lightning.
The Columbia Fire Department was dispatched to a commercial fire alarm at 404 North Keene Street, Women’s and Children’s Hospital, at 10:40am on Monday, July 29, 2019.
First arriving units received reports from on-site staff that there was smoke in an elevator and stairwell and upgraded to a commercial structure fire. Additional personnel and apparatus were dispatched to the scene. Further investigation revealed fire and smoke in an equipment room on the roof. Due to the size of the building and considering it is a healthcare facility, the incident commander upgraded the call a second time, to a two alarm fire, requesting additional equipment and personnel.
Fire crews attached hose lines to a standpipe in the stairwell and performed an aggressive fire attack, extinguishing the fire in the equipment room in approximately ten minutes. Additional tools and personnel were used to breach the walls of the metal clad room and search for fire extension. This included a thorough search of the elevator shaft that was in close proximity.
The event was brought under control in a little over one hour. Fire investigators are on-scene performing a fire origin and cause investigation. Additional details will be released as they become available.
Ten units from the Columbia Fire Department responded to this call. There were no reported injuries.