LOUISVILLE, Colo. (KDVR) — Avista Adventist Hospital will be closed “for the foreseeable future” after sustaining smoke damage from the Marshall Fire, with the hospital barely escaping a “catastrophic explosion” from the fire’s approach.
A video recorded from the hospital’s roof Thursday shows the fire and its billowing clouds of smoke approaching the north side of the hospital, “so to return hours later and find no significant damage is truly a miracle,” Isaac Sendros, chief executive officer for Avista Adventist Hospital, said in a statement.
Using hoses, hospital employees held back flames that came within four feet of a highly flammable liquid oxygen tank on the property, according to a news release from parent company Centura Health.
The hospital moved patients away from the fast-moving fire to the other side of the building, including emergency patients, intensive care unit patients and babies and two patients on ventilators. All were ultimately evacuated.
The hospital released videos and photos showing soot-covered areas of the hospital: patient rooms, the ambulance bay, the emergency room nursing station. Three levels of air filters, all coated with soot, were pulled from the building’s air intake system.
Although no direct fire damage impacted the property, the hospital does not have natural gas and is relying on diesel generators to maintain its heat systems. Cleaning crews are assessing the smoke damage and determining whether surgical supplies are still viable. The state must inspect and certify the hospital’s oxygen system before it can return to use.
“We are eternally grateful and thankful to the first responders who responded with urgency and have tirelessly worked since the fire first erupted in our community,” Sendros said. “Avista will be a light in the darkness as we support our friends, neighbors, and community in this recovery.”