LOUISVILLE, Colo. (KDVR) — Centura-Avista Adventist Hospital will reopen to patients and communities on Tuesday, Jan. 18, less than three weeks after the fire threatened the hospital.

Although flames spared the building, smoke damage affected the interior. 

“Adrenaline was running high,” said Christa Regnier RN at Centura Avista Adventist Hospital. “It was super stressful. Very scary!”

Regnier was tasked with evacuating an expectant mom in labor, as she tried to stay calm to reduce the possibility of the woman having her baby during the process.

Ash and soot lines the hallways of Louisville’s Avista Adventist Hospital following the Marshall Fire (Credit: Centura Health)

Since the fire, the hospital has undergone extensive professional cleaning 24 hours a day, with approximately 100 workers from Servpro and an industrial hygienist working to ensure the facility is safe and ready for caregivers and patients, according to the hospital officials. 

The hospital said the air quality will be in excellent condition before the first patient enters on Tuesday; all air filtration systems were replaced and more than 200 “air scrubbers” have been operating 24/7 since the fire. The cleanup also includes the testing of water quality, extensive and repeated wipe-downs of every surface, and testing of all equipment.

“When we reopen on Tuesday, Jan. 18, our patients can be certain that our hospital is 100% safe and fully ready to serve them,” said Isaac Sendros, CEO of Centura-Avista Adventist Hospital. “Our Avista teams and professional cleaning partners are working tirelessly to clean every inch of our building, and our caregivers and I are excited to welcome our communities back and extend our healing mission as we have since 1896.”

“It was very traumatic. I think everybody just came together and we all work together really well. It was chaos,” said Caroline Fraser, Emergency Department Manager at Avista Adventist Hospital.

Fraser was praised by her colleagues for being calm during the evacuation process.

Avista staff are set to return before the building opens to patients in order to prepare, but also to take a moment to reflect and reconnect. 

Among Avista employees, 12 lost their homes in the fire, and others suffered partial losses. Centura Health said they are continuing to support employees with temporary housing, financial assistance, and paid time off for those unable to work. 

Staff returning to the hospital Monday morning were greeted by drawings and signs thanking and welcoming healthcare workers back to the hospital. 

“I had a moment in the car where I was deeply touched by the outpouring of support from the community,” said Sendros.

”We’re supposed to lift [the community] up so for them to be lifting us up like this; we appreciate it more than we could ever explain,” Fraser said.