LOUISVILLE, Colo. — The city of Louisville’s only hospital will remain closed for the foreseeable future due to smoke damage sustained during the Marshall Fire, hospital officials announced Monday.
Centura-Avista Adventist Hospital, located just off the Boulder Turnpike, was forced to close and evacuate the building as wind-whipped flames inched closer to the facility Thursday.
While the hospital did not sustain direct fire damage, extensive smoke damage has prevented the facility from reopening.
The flames did come within four feet of highly flammable oxygen tanks located on the west side of the building. Staff used hoses to fight back the flames, which the hospital says helped avoid a "catastrophic explosion."
“The high winds were driving the fire straight toward our hospital on the north side, so to return hours later and find no significant damage is truly a miracle,” said Isaac Sendros, chief executive officer for Avista Adventist Hospital. “We are eternally grateful and thankful to the first responders who responded with urgency and have tirelessly worked since the fire first erupted in our community.”
The building remains without natural gas and is currently relying on diesel power generators to maintain the boiler and heat systems.
Professional cleaning crews are at the hospital to begin the process of cleaning and sanitizing the building. The hospital will re-open when this process is complete, but there is no estimated time on when that will happen.
The hospital is the only full-service medical facility in the city. UCHealth Broomfield Hospital is the next closest in the region.
Whipped by hurricane force winds, the Marshall Fire tore through Superior, Louisville, and parts of unincorporated Boulder County Thursday, destroying an estimated 991 structures and damaging 106 homes. Two people are missing and are feared dead.