Fire at San Francisco General Hospital Construction Site, 350 Evacuated

Categories: Fire

A small, but very inconvenient fire broke out this morning at the construction site of the new San Francisco General Hospital, forcing some 350 workers to evacuate the area.

The fire started at about 9:30 a.m. at a temporary platform inside an elevator shaft at the top of the new hospital building, located at 1001 Potrero Ave. Of the workers that were evacuated, seven were assessed for smoke inhalation and two were taken to the ER and treated, said Rachael Kagan, spokeswoman for SFGH.

One firefighter was treated for a minor shoulder injury.

Webcor Builders, the construction contractor, is now working with the Department of Public Works, which is managing the construction project, and the Department of Public Health, which operates SFGH, to get down to the bottom of things; at this time, officials do not know what caused the fire.

More importantly, Kagan said, the agencies are working to make sure the construction site is safe moving forward.

The SFGH Rebuild is a voter-supported project to build a new acute care hospital to serve San Franciscans for generations to come. The $887.4 million hospital will be seismically safe and provide many features -- including private rooms, bedside interpreting and a larger emergency room.

The new hospital is on schedule to open in 2015, however, officials say they do not yet know how this might affect the construction timeline.

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