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Small fire contained at hospital

LAWRENCEVILLE - Firefighters were able to extinguish a small fire at Gwinnett Medical Center's Surgical and Urological Unit Tuesday morning before any serious damage was done, Gwinnett Fire Department spokesman Capt. Thomas Rutledge said.

Units responded to the sixth floor of the South Tower after receiving a call from hospital staff at about 11 a.m., according to reports. There they found light smoke and a fire in an electrical panel on the wall.

Rutledge said a patient and hospital staff member were in the room when the staff member noticed the fire and evacuated the patient. When fire crews arrived, reports said, hospital staff were in the process of evacuating 10 patients to "a safe area on the other side of a fire door."

"The hospital staff acted quickly and kept patients and visitors from being in jeopardy," Rutledge said.

Firefighters had the fire under control in about 20 minutes, Rutledge said, using a portable fire extinguisher. He said damage was contained to the panel and a small area of the surrounding wall.

The hospital wing reopened shortly after the incident, Rutledge said, with the exception of the room where the fire began and an adjoining room.