KUALA LUMPUR, June 28 — A fire broke out at Sultanah Aminah Hospital (HSA) in Johor Baru, Johor, this afternoon, the second blaze at the government hospital since a fatal fire in 2016.
According to the Johor Fire and Rescue Department (Bomba), the fire at the women’s ward of the Ministry of Health (MOH) hospital did not result in casualties and 24 patients were evacuated safely by HSA staff.
The Johor Fire and Rescue Department said it received a call at 3.08pm today about the fire and arrived at the scene at 3.13pm, successfully controlling the blaze at 3.17pm. The fire was put out completely at 3.29pm.
“During the incident, hospital staff tried to put out the fire with a dry powder fire extinguisher, but were unsuccessful, and the fire spread to the ceiling of the ward,” said the Johor Fire and Rescue Department in a statement.
“The cause of the fire and estimated losses are still under investigation.”
According to the Johor Fire and Rescue Department, the fire involved an oxygen panel, vacuum, call bell, and switch at bed number 5 of the ward.
Health Minister Dr Adham Baba told reporters at HSA that the patients in the burned ward were transferred to other wards in the hospital, while some others in the ward beside were transferred to Permai Hospital.
Johor state health director Dr Aman Rabu said today’s fire occurred at 2.50pm, but no deaths or serious injuries were reported.
“This medical ward is located at a one-storey building in front of the parking area, and is not the main building,” he said in a statement. “Services at HSAJB are not interrupted and continue as usual.”
The October 2016 fire at the South ICU of HSA, the worst hospital fire in Malaysia’s history, had killed six patients. According to the declassified findings of an independent inquiry into the blaze, as reported by CodeBlue, Medivest Sdn Bhd, a hospital support services company serving HSA, allegedly provided a fire extinguisher that malfunctioned during the fire.
A HSA staff reportedly told the inquiry chaired by former Court of Appeal judge Mohd Hishamudin Yunus that he was unaware that the CO2 fire extinguisher he tried to use was unsuitable for the type of fire in the 2016 blaze. The powder fire extinguisher he tried to use next allegedly failed to function.
The government has yet to release the independent inquiry’s report to the public, even though the previous Pakatan Harapan government had declassified it from the Official Secrets Act (OSA).