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TMRC patients back in facility after evacuation due to fire

A small fire on Tuesday forced the evacuation of 45 patients from the Tallahassee Memorial...
A small fire on Tuesday forced the evacuation of 45 patients from the Tallahassee Memorial Rehabilitation Center.(WCTV)
Published: Dec. 2, 2020 at 8:58 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A small fire on Tuesday forced the evacuation of 45 patients from the Tallahassee Memorial Rehabilitation Center.

TMH officials say a short in a heating strip sparked the fire and it was confined to a small area in an air duct.

“Instead of using water, they were able to come in and just address and pull ceiling down and put the fire out without a lot of water which would have been a lot more damage. So we are very thankful for them to that we’re able to get back into the building today,” said Stephanie Derzypolski, the VP chief communications officer for TMH.

It also a stressful 24 hours for many of the families.

Ossie Sampson tells WCTV her husband has only been living at TMH’s rehabilitation center for a few weeks.

Sampson says she first found out about Tuesday’s fire through a family member.

She says she is glad that everyone, including her husband, made it out safely, but she was emotional as she recalled not knowing where her husband was after the evacuation.

“My husband cannot move, he cannot walk, he cannot help get himself up. He’s a big man so yeah that was a struggle in itself,” said Sampson.

TMH says all the families were notified of the evacuation and no one was hurt in the fire or evacuation.

A thorough check of the facility was conducted before allowing patients back into the building.

TMH tells us all 45 patients have been moved back into the facility.

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