Caritas patients and staff forced to evacuate building

Cleveland Hill ladders the Caritas Medical Arts Building on June 8, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Cleveland Hill ladders the Caritas Medical Arts Building on June 8, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – A malfunctioning air handling pump forced patients and staff members to evacuate the Caritas Medical Arts Building Thursday afternoon.

 Just before 2 p.m. a worker smelled smoke and pulled a fire alarm station which evacuated the building according to Leonard Luh, Chief of Pine Hill Hose Company.

Around 40-60 people evacuated the Caritas Medical Arts Building on June 8, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Around 40-60 people evacuated the Caritas Medical Arts Building on June 8, 2017. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

Around 40-60 people evacuated to the outside parking lot – at least two patients were confined to hospital gurneys.  The main hospital was not evacuated.

Chief Luh says an air handling pump overheated.

“Once we got to the mechanical room and figured out what the problem was, we shut that unit off,” said Chief Luh.

Workers and patients were able to return back to the building around 40 minutes after first being evacuated.

The building will be without full air conditioning until maintenance workers fix the pump and turn the system back on.

Pine Hill was assisted at the scene by Cleveland Hill and Rescue.