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Suspect Starts Three Fires in Hospital, Two Outside Within Minutes

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April 23, 2023 | FLORIDA OCALA FIRE RESCUE, Correspondent
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.

(OCALA, FL.) April 23, 2023 – On Sunday, April 23, at approximately 7:08 p.m., Ocala Fire Rescue (OFR) received reports of a structure fire at HCA Florida's West Marion Hospital, 4600 SW 46th Ct. Engines 1, 4, and 6, Rescue 4, Tower 1, Battalion Chief 11, and a Safety Officer were dispatched to the scene.

As units were on their way, reports of a second fire came in. Command upgraded the emergency response to include OFR's Engine 5 and Marion County Fire Rescue's CC 1, Medic 50, ALS 1, and Battalion Chief 5.

Fires were identified in a fifth-floor coffee station, the first-floor men's restroom, and the first-floor women's restrooms. Using extinguishers, crews contained the flames to the area of origin at each site.

As crews extinguished the fires inside the hospital, two outside fires were reported in the hospital's vicinity - one behind a local college campus and the other behind a home. 

Engines 1 and 5 were relocated to battle the outside fires. Engine 1 used the front bumper line to battle the flames behind Rasmussen University, 4755 SW 46th Ct., while Engine 5 joined Engines 3 and 7, Rescue 1, and Battalion Chief 22 to assist MCFR's Division 1 and Engine 20 in containing the fire spreading toward a home on the 4500 block of SW 46th Street- a county enclave. 

Once the outside fires were extinguished, Engines 1 and 5 resumed their roles at the hospital scene, assisting with ventilation and gas monitoring. 

No injuries were reported.

The cause of the fires is under investigation, and the Ocala Police Department apprehended a suspect.


OFR's Fire Marshall also responded.

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