Ward is evac­u­ated in ‘ar­son’ at­tack

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE -

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.”

Mac­cles­field Hos­pi­tal

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