By Benjamin Pulta

PGH FIRE. Firefighters respond to the fire at the UP PGH compound in Manila which reached the second alarm on Wednesday (March 13, 2024). An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire which seemed to have originated from the audio-visual room (AVR) at the back of Ward 1 of the hospital. (PNA photo by Ben Pulta) 

MANILA – Around 180 patients were evacuated after a fire broke out inside the Philippine General Hospital (PGH) compound in Manila on Wednesday afternoon.

The blaze reached the first alarm at 3:08 p.m. and second alarm at 3:11 p.m. It was declared under control at 3:45 p.m. and out at 4:30 p.m., Manila Fire Marshal Senior Supt. Christine Cula said in a status report.

University of the Philippines-PGH spokesperson Jonas del Rosario told newsmen that the patients include 165 patients from four wards, six from the Central Adult and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (Cenicu) and 10 from the Medical Intensive Care Unit.

An investigation is underway to determine the cause of the fire which seemed to have originated from the audio-visual room (AVR) at the back of Ward 1, del Rosario said.

Patients in Wards 3 and 4 on the second floor were likewise evacuated, del Rosario said.

No patients so far reported issues from smoke inhalation, he said.

“We were able to evacuate them efficiently. No one was hurt, no one died. They have been moved to safer areas,” he added.

In a statement, the Department of Health (DOH) said its Health Emergency Management Bureau (HEMB) extended assistance to UP-PGH for the transfer of patients to various DOH hospitals.

“All DOH hospitals in NCR have been alerted and are prepared to accommodate patients. In light of Fire Prevention Month, the DOH is instructing all its hospitals to review their fire evacuation plans and conduct risk analyses for fire prevention on their premises,” it said.

As of 6 p.m., the UP-PGH has advised the DOH that it was able to manage its patients in other unaffected wards or rooms.

PGH is the country’s largest training hospital with 1,100 beds and an additional 400 private beds. It serves more than 600,000 patients every year. (with report from Ma. Teresa Montemayor/PNA)