Saint Clare's hospital partially evacuated due to smoke

Thursday, 12 October 2017, 04:36:45 PM. No one was injured during the incident

BOONTON TOWNSHIP -- A smoke condition at Saint Clare's Hospital in Boonton Township prompted a partial evacuation of the hospital Tuesday night, authorities said.

Boonton Township Fire Chief Steve Tallody said firefighters from Boonton Township, Boonton and Mountain Lakes responded to the hospital at 9:48 p.m. on a report of visible smoke on the first floor. 

Firefighters quickly confirmed "a light smoke condition" in the area of the main entrance as well as that wing of the building, which they determined was emanating from the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC), Tallody said. 

An aerial ladder set up by Boonton Town firefighters confirmed the smoke was coming from a malfunctioning HVAC unit on the roof, so the unit was shut down with the help of hospital maintenance staff, he said. 

Saint Clare's spokeswoman Merrill Altberg said the smoke was caused by a mechanical problem related to a roof-top HVAC unit, which was then turned off and scheduled for repair. 

Tallody said carbon monoxide readings were negative after the hospital was ventilated.  

Most patients and workers sheltered in place but a few occupants in the area affected by the smoke were forced to evacuate, Tallody said.

No one was injured in the incident and there was no smoke or fire damage to the hospital, the fire chief said.

Fire crews cleared the scene about a half-hour after arriving, he said. 

Justin Zaremba may be reached at jzaremba@njadvancemedia.com. Follow him on Twitter @JustinZarembaNJ. Find NJ.com on Facebook.

Have information about this story or something else we should be covering? Tell us. nj.com/tips

Share this
Article Saint Clare's hospital partially evacuated due to smoke compiled by www.nj.com