A huge fire broke out yesterday, June 6th, outside East Surrey Hospital, in Redhill, Surrey, engulfing three ambulances and part of the hospital after gas cylinders reportedly exploded.
Emergency services arrived at the scene at around 2pm on Monday and managed to bring the situation under control and extinguish the blaze.
Redhill firefighters say the fire started in an ambulance parked outside the east entrance of the hospital and then extended to two other emergency vehicles nearby. All three ambulances that caught fire were totalled by the flames.
Witnesses told the local news stations that they heard loud bangs a few minutes apart and saw clouds of black smoke rising into the air outside the hospital building.
Surrey and Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust confirmed there were no victims, and all hospital patients and personnel were safe from harm. Subsequent reports have revealed a patient was in the back of the ambulance that was first engulfed in flames, and he was rescued and taken to safety by the paramedic on the vehicle.
Michael Wilson, the chief executive of the healthcare trust, declared for the media that ‘The police, fire and ambulance services were on site within a few minutes and the fire is now under control.’
Due to this incident, patients and staff from the affected area of the hospital were evacuated, and the hospital closed its doors to emergencies, diverting severe cases to neighbouring emergency units until further notice.
Officials refuse to speculate on the cause of the fire, but as it turns out, at least four gas canisters were in the vehicle that first caught fire, and they are believed to have exploded, causing the blaze and spreading the flames.
Initial estimates say this unfortunate incident caused half a million pounds worth of damage.