Sunday, March 18, 2012


another great reader submission...this time (via email) from Betty Anonymous:

Dear Betty Debbie,
Yesterday I found a report on hospital fires in London.
I found it quite interesting and thought I would share it with the other Bettys.
" significant adverse health affect was reported during or post the fires in any of the patients evacuated." Now, isn't that very Betty?!!
Betty Anonymous

Did any of you ever think there were too many fires in Neelsdom?
Think again.
From: Betty by the Numbers: Emergency!
... Eleven storms, ten fires, seven blizzard/snowstorms, six bombs and six births (five humans, one horse), three demonstrations turned rowdy, and two each of floods, wild winds, non-bomb explosions and earthquakes. ...
Ten fires in total, and not all of them hospital fires – over a period of 30 years.
So, if you ever thought there were too many fires in Neelsdom, especially in hospitals ...

From: NHS London Review of five London hospital fires and their management
Five London Hospital Fires January 2008 – February 2009
Of the five events described, no significant adverse health affect was reported during or post the fires in any of the patients evacuated.
2nd January 2008
The Royal Marsden Hospital fire – Complete evacuation
The Royal Marsden Hospital is a world renowned cancer centre.
Royal Marsden Hospital
25th July 2008
University College London Hospital fire – Part closure and service diversion
University College London Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust is a large acute trust.
The Rosenheim building affected by the fire is used mainly for out clinics, oncology and paediatrics, but also houses other services.
29th September 2008
Great Ormond Street Hospital fire – Partial evacuation
Great Ormond Street Hospital is a world renowned paediatric tertiary referral hospital in Bloomsbury, central London, providing the widest range of specialist children’s healthcare in the UK.
child is evacauted
Nurses and medical stuff push a child in a hospital bed away from Great Ormond Street after a fire and explosion
15th October 2008
The Chase Farm Hospital site of Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust fire – Complete evacuation
The Chase Farm Hospital site in North London hosts the services of three NHS trusts; Barnet & Chase Farm Hospital Trust, NHS London provider arm community services and Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust.
11th February 2009
The Northwick Park Hospital fire – Partial evacuation
Northwick Park Hospital is district general hospital in North West London. It occupies the same site as St Mark’s Hospital – a world renowned tertiary referral centre for gastrointestinal surgery and medicine.
Patients being evacuated from Northwick Park Hospital.
 Interested? Read the complete review.
Sister Peters in Amsterdam
There was an icy wind blowing down the Spui as they turned into the Kalverstraat, walking briskly. When they reached the narrow steeg which was the accepted short cut to the hospital, he kept straight on. Adelaide hesitated, not sure if she was supposed to turn down its familiar gloom, but he took her arm and steered her past and across the street to the warm, well lighted lounge of the Hotel Polen. ...
(page 82)
Hotel Polen...before.

Hotel Polen fire
Sad reality
Eight years after the book had been published the Hotel Polen went up in flames. The large café which used to be below the hotel had closed its doors to the public in 1974 and had been replaced by a furniture showroom. And this is where the fire started early in the morning on May 9, 1977
Wikipedia report on the fire
Hotel Polen after.

-Betty Anonymous


  1. Very interesting. Thank you.

    Betty AnoninTX

  2. Although I didn't mind, I have to admit that I always thought that Betty might have played up the hospital fire/bomb/explosion a bit. Now, maybe not so much....Sad about the Hotel Polen, but what a wonderful "before" image for my imagination.

  3. This post got me thinking about the frequency of hospital fires in other countries. I can't say that I've ever heard of one in my neck of the woods - does that mean we don't have them? Or perhaps there is some kind of cover-up conspiracy thing going on?


    I do know one thing. Next time I have a hospital stay, I'm packing sensible slippers and a robe that I won't mind being seen in public in.

    1. two robes -- one in terry so the firefighter or heroic doctor who carries you out can get a better grip, and one in satin, so you slide better if they put you in an emergency-evacuation chute.

  4. Thank you, Betty Debbie, for enriching my post. Well done!
    Betty Anonymous

  5. Interesting bit about Hotel Polen.

    Not long ago, I Googled Dutch mansions (you know, to get a picture in my mind when I read about RDDs' homes). I discovered that many old mansions and castles have been turned into restaurants or hotels. That means, if Betty's RDDs were in the real world, most of their homes would have met the same fate. Which means they and their sensible English wives did a bad job raising the next generation to follow in their fathers' footsteps. So sad. But hey! That's fiction.

    1. No, no, Betty Lulu: the grand homes that got turned into hotels and restaurants were the ones in the families without RDDs and their English wives. All the nice homes in The Canon are still owned by Neelsian progeny. They--the homes, not the progeny--aren't quickly found on Google, is all.

    2. No self-respecting RDD allows profligate photographing of the ancestral homestead. (Said photos might end up on nefarious MOC-promoting websites.)

      Is the progeny quickly found on Google then?

    3. No, Betty Lulu, our standard RDD did not only have a nice home, plus perhaps a cottage somewhere, a second home or flat in England, complete with retainers, he also had a vast fortune, wisely invested, enough for the upkeep, enough to keep his wife in couture dresses... and then some.
      Betty Anonymous

    4. LOL! I'm convinced. I see we have very loyal RDD fans.


    Fire at Stoke Mandeville Hospital

    1 June 2013

    An investigation is under way following a fire at Stoke Mandeville Hospital in Aylesbury this morning.
    A man suffered minor injuries to his hand, and was one of three patients treated for the effects of breathing in smoke.

    Fifty-three patients were safely moved to other areas of the hospital. All staff and patients are safe.

    Crews from Aylesbury, Great Missenden, Princes Risborough, Waddesdon and High Wycombe were called to the fire at about 4.30am. At its peak, there were 40 firefighters and officers at the scene.

    Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus used three jets to put out the fire and large fans to clear the smoke. [...]

    Stoke Mandeville Hospital fire: First pictures from scene of blaze

    Suspected fire at Epsom Hospital

    10 June 2013

    We can confirm that at approximately 10.30am this morning, the fire brigade were called to Epsom Hospital, as smoke from the hospital's boiler room (also known as a plant room) accidentally re-entered the hospital and triggered the alarm system.

    As the cause of the problem was investigated, the affected areas were evacuated quickly and calmly, but no inpatients (those staying in a bed) needed to be taken out of the hospital. The areas affected included the Bradbury wing and maternity.

    At 11.50am, the issue was resolved and the evacuation order was stood down. The hospital is now running as usual, and patients due to have an appointment and those who need urgent treatment in A&E (accident and emergency) are asked to attend the hospital as normal. [...]

    A&E temporarily closed after a fire at Stafford Hospital

    Monday 5th August 2013 – 12.15pm – Murray MacGregor.

    Ambulance crews are being diverted away from Stafford Hospital after a fire in the A&E Department closed the unit.

    The incident happened at about 9.45am this morning when there was a fire in an extractor fan in the roof of A&E. The fire was quickly brought under control but the department had to be evacuated.

    Five ambulances were at the hospital with patients at the time of the fire. Doctors from the hospital assessed the patients on the back of the ambulances. Three were taken straight to wards, but two had to be transferred to University Hospital North Staffordshire (UHNS).

    While the unit is closed, ambulance staff will remain on site in case there are any patients that self present and need assistance. [...]

  7. Investigation underway after fire at Heartlands Hospital

    Mon 26 Aug 2013

    The maternity ward at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham had to be evacuated in the early hours of this morning after a fire in a nearby storage building.

    The fire is now out and an investigation is underway. [...]