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Nov 30, 2012 10:02 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

Tossed Cigarette Results In Partial Hospital Evacuation

Nov 30, 2012 12:29 PM

UPDATE, 11:26 a.m.

The fire was contained to a small area on the northwest corner of the hospital, where the MRI machines are, and emergency responders left the scene about 10:40 a.m. after clearing the first floor of smoke, Southampton Fire Department Captain Chris Brenner said.

About 40 firefighters responded, and the North Sea Fire Department stood by at Southampton’s Windmill Lane firehouse.

“Everybody did a great job, and the fire was quickly extinguished,” he said.

UPDATE, 10:18 a.m.

Southampton Hospital issued an emailed statement at 10:13 a.m. thanking the police, firefighters and other emergency responders for their “quick and professional response.”


A cloud of smoke engulfed part of Southampton Hospital on Friday morning, the result, apparently, of a cigarette tossed into an outdoor grate by a passerby, officials on the scene said.

No injuries were reported, but part of the hospital was evacuated while firefighters doused the fire.

The flames broke out shortly before 9:30 a.m., when a large plume of gray smoke could be seen rising from the grate near the hospital’s main entrance on Meeting House Lane.

“It appears somebody flicked a cigarette into the grate as they were passing by,” said Marsha Kenny, hospital spokeswoman, from the scene, adding that there were leaves in the grate that caught flame and resulted in smoke in a basement boiler room.

Several doctors and nurses standing outside remarked that the emergency room and MRI areas were also smoky. The ER was not evacuated, however, Ms. Kenny said.

Southampton Village Police and the Southampton Fire Department arrived soon after, and the situation was “under control” shortly after 9:30 a.m.

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just disgusting. If you're going to smoke, DON'T THROW IT ON THE GROUND!! So sick of seeing people throwing their cancer sticks out of their car windows too, PIGS!!!
By just breath (82), yuck on Nov 30, 12 1:53 PM
3 members liked this comment
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Nov 30, 12 5:06 PM
What a stupid, careless thing to do. This could have had a horrible, tragic outcome.
By Mrs.Sea (268), Sag Harbor on Nov 30, 12 3:33 PM
Smoking should be banned everywhere except for a smokers privateproperty and car!!!Most arrogant inconsiderate sect of society out there!!!
By lursagirl (245), southampton on Nov 30, 12 5:09 PM
Southampton Hospital has a no Smoking policy in place and a disaster still can happen. There should be more signs posted with explicit instructions about No Smoking. I hope this sends a message to other hospitals likje Peconic Bay where you can clearly see the butts all scattered about & around the ER entrance just a discusting appearance. I guess management there smokes, so no policy. Iam a copd-er and can't breath when I go into PBMC's ER for treatment.
By The Squirl (36), Red creek on Nov 30, 12 4:09 PM
hey i am a security officer at shh there are signs all over the place but people dont seam to care . I was one of the officers that responded and i helped to attempt to put out the fire before the fire dept arrived. i actually went to another hospital for smoke inhalation. it could have been worse. take care
By rezdog70 (5), southampton on Nov 30, 12 8:36 PM
The careless smoker is one issue but why hadn't the hospital cleaned out the leaves from under the grate?
By nellie (451), sag harbor on Nov 30, 12 7:23 PM
My husband works at this hospital and was a first responder to this incident. He did not think twice, only responded, and I consider him and his co- workers all heroes. Their first and only concern was the patient's safety and well being. In the picture where you see smoke, my husband was beneath all that with no breathing apparatus, he required oxygen treatment for his successful attempt at extinguishing this fire before it became a devastating catastrophe. I do consider William Rand to be ...more
By Justsayin' (1), Wading river on Nov 30, 12 10:47 PM
1 member liked this comment
Thanks to the firefighters and others that put out the fire. We were lucky that it was not worse. As I read the breaking news initially about this fire I thought the fire had broken inside the Hospital and was afraid about the patients and how they could be moved. Looks like we were lucky this time but is the Hospital, fire departments, and first responder for something worse in the future? I'm not aware of any such plans that might exist, but its good to learn about this experience to anticipate ...more
By V.Tomanoku (790), southampton on Dec 1, 12 7:59 AM
GREAT job by all involved in dealing with this incident. Hospital staff was well prepared and trained. Patients were never in danger. Special thanks to the Southampton Fire Department volunteers!
By Robert I Ross (250), Hampton Bays on Dec 1, 12 8:18 AM
1 member liked this comment
It absolutely amazes me how so many people continue to smoke, even in this day and age.
By louse pt. (143), springs on Dec 1, 12 2:05 PM
1 member liked this comment
and people continue to drink and drive.Some of these same people who complain about smokers. Lets not forgot smoking is not illegal and the smokers pay taxes too,even more so.
By poca (3), southampton on Dec 4, 12 12:51 PM
Another sign will not work; there is a sign right there that says the hospital grounds are a no smoking area. People who smoke are addicted. Today there is evidence the tobacco companies actively hid their own studies that proved smoking was addictive. Indeed, they used the addictive properties to increase their profits, for decades, and they still do. People die in fires caused by smoking, as firefighters, and from cancer, all because of greed. anyone who owns tobacco stock should reconsider.
By Tree Man (19), Southampton on Dec 1, 12 7:31 PM
Could have been a nurse or doctor too.....have seen this many times.
By suzer67 (51), nanuet on Dec 2, 12 12:35 AM
show me a smoker and i'll show you a litterbug
welcome to our small village > please feel free to toss your cigarette butts anywhere you want
By david h (405), southampton on Dec 6, 12 11:37 AM