Fire, Heavy Smoke in Bronx Hospital Basement

More than 250 patients were moved.

Wednesday, Nov 9, 2011  |  Updated 8:57 PM EDT
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A fire sent hundreds of staffers and patients out onto the streets Wednesday afternoon.

Roseanne Colletti

A fire sent hundreds of staffers and patients out onto the streets Wednesday afternoon.

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A fire in the basement of Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx forced hospital workers to briefly move some patients, but firefighters quickly brought the blaze under control.

Nurses wheeled at least a dozen beds into the street after the fire broke out early Wednesday afternoon, said Vipul Parekh, the pharmacist at a drug store across the street. Smoke was coming out of the side of the building.

"The whole block was closed and they had brought everyone outside," Parekh said.

About 100 firefighters responded to the fire, along with several police cars.

By 3 p.m. the Fire Department of New York said all visible flames had been knocked out. No injuries were reported.

Parekh said everyone had returned to the hospital. Firefighters were investigating the cause of the blaze.

The Montefiore Medical Center was founded in 1884 and has more than 700 beds. It is a teaching hospital for the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and includes a well-known children's hospital.

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