Anne Arundel Medical Center maternity wing evacuated because of fire

Thirteen mothers and their infants were removed from Anne Arundel Medical Center's maternity ward Monday evening after a three-alarm electrical fire broke out there, officials said.

Two other patients were also displaced from the floor, as were 10 patients from the center's first floor.

No one was injured and the mothers, newborns and other patients are being cared for elsewhere in the hospital, AAMC spokeswoman Kelly Swan said. Mothers who were on the labor and delivery floor, one floor below the recovery floor, were also moved elsewhere.

Hospital workers noticed heavy smoke about 5:45 p.m. from what was determined to be a fire sparked in a utility room, officials said.

"It wasn't full of smoke — floor to ceiling — but it was up toward the ceiling and it was banking down toward the floor," Anne Arundel County Fire Battalion Chief Michael Cox said of the conditions firefighters encountered.

At least 65 firefighters and three alarms' worth of equipment responded to the fire. As of 8:30 p.m., all were still working to clear smoke from the third floor of the hospital's Rebecca M. Clatanoff Pavilion, which houses the maternity wing.

Patients on the first floor were transferred to a different section of the center because of the smell of the fire, Cox said.

It was not immediately clear when the maternity floor would be able to reopen. Swan said the hospital is still accepting patients, including mothers in labor.

Baltimore Sun reporter Kevin Rector contributed to this article.

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