Small fire contained to Backus Hospital basement

Norwich — A local fire chief credited the quick actions by staff at The William W. Backus Hospital in containing a small fire Wednesday in a basement laundry area.

The fire was first reported at 6:24 p.m. as a working fire. Yantic Fire Chief Frank Blanchard said hospital staff followed procedure and pulled a fire alarm and contained the fire with fire extinguishers before it could spread or even get large enough to set off sprinklers.

Because of the potential for a large-scale incident, Blanchard said he called in assistance from Taftville, the City of Norwich and Mohegan Tribal fire departments, along with Norwich police and Norwich Public Utilities.

The cause of the fire, which caused minimal damage to some linens in the basement but not to the building, appears to be electrical, Blanchard said. The official cause and origin will be determined through an investigation by the fire marshal’s office.

Hospital spokesman Shawn Mawhiney said there was no impact to patients or staff and evacuation was not needed.

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