San Pablo Medical Center gutted by fire

Fire damaged the San Pablo City Medical Center early Friday but no one was reported injured as hospital personnel promptly evacuated patients and staff, fire department officials said.

Fire Officer Jojo Panergayo told the Philippine Daily Inquirer that the fire struck at 3:35 a.m. Friday and was put under control at about 4:30 a.m., but not before it gutted nearly 50 percent of the hospital.

Another fire official, Mario Gesmundo, reported hospital security personnel as saying that the fire started in an old section of the building that was under renovation.

It spread quickly to the Nursing Department School Building, the operating room, delivery room, x-ray room, wards, private rooms, the emergency rooms, the records section, cashier’s office, doctors’ offices and other offices.

Gesmundo, officer-in-charge of the fire deparetment in Nagcarlan town who assisted in putting out the blaze, said more than half of the hospital was gutted and it would take some time to reopen.

Panergayo said no patients were hurt as they were promptly evacuated and transferred to various hospitals nearby.

The authorities are still trying to determine the cause of the fire.