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Investigators pinpoint cause of fire at Pardee

Investigators determined that a fire that forced the relocation of 60 patients at Pardee Hospital and filled two floors with smoke was caused by a contractor working on the roof, city spokeswoman Allison Justus said Monday.

Flames were visible and some was pouring out of windows when firefighters arrived on the scene at 2:30 p.m. on Good Friday. Firefighters knocked the fire down and stayed on the scene for four hours before turning the hospital back over to Pardee, Fire Chief D. James Miller said Saturday.
“We had to find the fire,” he said. “Two floors of the hospital were filled with smoke. The hospital did a very good job of moving people around. They didn’t evacuate, they just relocated within the structure but they did have a lot to do in a short period of time.” (Patients in the Psychiatric and Addictions Therapeutic Healing Services [PATHS] wing were evacuated across Fleming Street to a Pardee-owned physician practice.)

“There's some contractors that were working so we're trying to get piece that together,” he said Saturday. “They were working in the area.”