Shower curtain burns, NHC evacuated

Friday, August 14, 2009

A shower curtain caught on fire Tuesday at a health care center on Mooresville Highway and part of the building was evacuated, officials said.

"Cigarettes" were cited as the cause of the fire, according to Lewisburg Fire Chief Larry Williams who said staff and emergency crews' response to the accidental fire met all expectations.

"NHC staff did an outstanding job," Williams said about the employees of National HealthCare Corp., headquartered in Murfreesboro.

Scott Bidwell, administrator of NHC HealthCare Lewisburg, said there were 95 residents of the health care center.

"We evacuated about 40 patients to another part of the building," Bidwell said.

To help with crowd control, two NHC HealthCare Oakwood employees went to the smoky facility frequently called Merihill, although that's not the official name for NHC HealthCare Lewisburg, 1653 Mooresville Highway.

The bathroom with the burning shower curtain is off from a resident's bedroom, Williams said. It was the resident who was smoking in that bathroom. All rooms of the health care center were available to the residents after the incident with the exception of the one that had a burning shower curtain.

The 911 call about the fire came at 11:19 a.m. Tuesday and firefighters were on the scene at 11:21 a.m., Williams said. responding with firefighters were Lewisburg Police, Lewisburg Electric Service, the city's Gas Department and the county's Emergency Management Agency. Firefighters left at 12:43 p.m.

"This is a situation we hope to never have to deal with but ... we had policies and procedures in place and the staff followed the response plan," Bidwell said. "We're glad to report that not patients, no staff, or visitors were injured."