Ward is evacuated in ‘arson’ attack
PATIENTS in a mental health unit had to be evacuated at Macclesfield hospital following a suspected arson attack.
Police said a woman has been arrested after a blaze broke out in a bathroom.
Twenty patients were evacuated and two members of staff were treated for the effects of inhaling smoke following the incident on Wednesday, October 26.
Fire crews spent three and a half hours clearing a substantial amount of smoke which had spread through the ground floor ward. The blaze broke out at the Millbrook unit which has been earmarked for closure by the Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP).
Patients were relocated to other wards in Macclesfield as well as other CWP sites. Six bedrooms were affected by smoke damage. The ward reopened the following day, although the bathroom remains out of action.
Andy Styring, director of Operations at CWP, said: “We would like to thank staff for their quick, calm response and pro- fessionalism.
“Staff were tremendous – they ensured the safety and security of our patients during the incident and some staff who were off duty and on annual leave came in to support the effort.
“I would also like to thank the emergency services for all their support during the incident - the joint working with the fire and police services was exceptional and showed our tried and tested emergency procedures in action.”
The unit supports young adults with conditions including anxiety, depression, psychosis and eating disorders.
A spokesman for Cheshire Fire and Rescue said: “Firefighters responded to a report of a fire on a ward of Macclesfield Hospital on Victoria Road, Macclesfield. When they arrived crews wearing breathing apparatus tackled a fire on the ground floor. Other fire crews checked the first floor to ensure that the fire had not spread. Some 20 patients were evacuated and two members of staff were checked for the effects of inhaling smoke.
“An investigation to determine the cause of the fire is now underway.”
A spokesman for Cheshire Police said: “At 8.02pm
‘Staff were tremendous - they ensured the safety of patients’
on Wednesday 26th October 2016, police were called to Macclesfield District General Hospital to a report of a fire in a ward.
“A 33-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of arson with intent. She has since been bailed pending further enquiries.”