NCH still partially operating on generator power two days after electrical fire

Naples Community Hospital

350 7th Street North, Naples, FL

— NCH Downtown Naples Hospital is still partially operating on generator power two days after an electrical malfunction started a fire in the hospital’s central energy plant.

However, two of four Florida Power & Light transformers were brought back online Wednesday, hospital spokeswoman Debbie Curry said. All systems are currently operational.

The entire hospital was on generator power for about 28 hours.

“Patient care has not been affected,” Curry said. “Generator power is being used for equipment, such as chillers, air conditioning, air handling systems.”

The fire, which erupted around 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday, eventually spread from the first floor electrical room to the second and third floors. Flames were seen on the exterior of the building’s second floor, and firefighters encountered thick black smoke on the third floor.

More than two dozen Naples and North Naples firefighters arrived on scene to battle the blaze, as hospital employees gathered on the north side of the building. Naples police temporarily closed a portion of Fourth Avenue North to traffic.

Firefighters had the blaze under control around 1:30 p.m. and extinguished around 2 p.m.

It’s unclear when electricians will be able to return the final two transformers to full power.

“The folks involved are working diligently to move off of generator power as soon as possible,” Curry said.

Connect with Ryan Mills at www.naplesnews.com/staff/ryan-mills/

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