Fire at medical mall forces evacuation

Amelia Holliday — Staff Reporter

November 14, 2013

HAZARD—Employees and patients at the ARH Medical Mall in Hazard were in for an eventful morning Thursday after a fuse box fire caused an evacuation of the building.

Hazard Fire Chief Sam Stacy said the department got a call just before 11 a.m. that a fire alarm had been activated at the mall.

“We responded to a fire alarm over at the medical mall and when we got here we were directed to the back part of the building. There was smoke and flames coming out of the electrical panel; it was a fuse box,” Stacy explained. “We had to evacuate the people because at first we didn’t have any idea of what it was.”

Stacy said the fire was brought under control when the power was turned off to the building, adding that the incident is under investigation since it is unclear if a malfunction in the box was the cause or not.

“We don’t think there’ll be any further problems for them,” Stacy said

The mall, which houses a bariatric center, a retail pharmacy, and a physical therapy center, is in the same building as Quantum Health Care. Stacy said Quantum was able to reopen its doors after the fire was put out, though the medical mall would be closed for the rest of the day Thursday to allow for smoke to be cleared from offices.

“We’ve got our exhaust fans … in there to go ahead and try to get most of the smoke out,” Stacy said.

Crews were able to leave the scene just an hour after being called out.

“The ARH employees done a great job of evacuating people and so did Quantum. That’s really important because it’s a whole lot easier to go back there when we’re the only ones there and aren’t having to look for people,” Stacy said. “They were really, really proficient in their evacuation plan, and they did really well.”