Mercy Medical Center employees help slow fire caused by fireworks

Fire near Mercy Medical Center

A fire burning towards Mercy Medical Center in Redding was slowed down thanks to the quick actions taken by hospital employees Wednesday night.

The Redding Fire Department said they've determined the fire was caused by people shooting off illegal fireworks near the hospital.

The fire was contained to only one acre but burned dangerously close to the hospital, forcing staff to take quick action to prevent the spread of flames.

"Hospital personnel from around the facility responded to the incident, retrieved our firefighting equipment, our hoses from outside the building and started to combat the blaze here, until the Redding Fire Department showed up," said Tom Rossiter, Mercy Medical Center Security Manager.

A new fire hose at the hospital was critical to helping employees fight off the flames.

"This is [the] same equipment the fire department would have. In fact, we even worked with the city to get these put in place so that we could access the fire hydrants on our own," said Rossiter.

Rossiter said they're well trained for these kinds of emergencies.

"Annually we hold an education out here that allows us to fully use a fire extinguisher on an active fire and then also get behind the fire hose," said Rossiter.

They also have an emergency evacuation plan in place.

"Each department has its own evacuation route. We do have standard muster points here at the facility that the employees would respond to. But in the event that a fire is affecting one of those evacuation points, then we would send security down to direct our employees and staff to safety," said Rossiter.

This isn't the first time there's been a fire close by either. Mercy is surrounded by vegetation.

"I think it was about four years ago we had a fire creep up this same area, but it engulfed the majority of this hillside over here and was actually licking over onto vehicles," said Rossiter.

The Redding Fire Department also said the fire is an ongoing investigation and are currently looking for those responsible.

If you have any information call 530-225-4141.

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