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Hospital unit reopens after fire

A hospital A&E department has reopened after it was forced to shut due to a serious fire.

But people living in and around Chesterfield, Derbyshire, have been warned the emergency unit at Chesterfield Royal Hospital will only be operating a limited service following the blaze which broke out in a newsagent's stall.

Patients were evacuated from part of the building in Calow, Chesterfield, to hospitals in Sheffield, Rotherham, Mansfield and Derby, as the flames took hold last night.

A hospital spokesman said these people will be returned to the Royal as soon as possible, as long as they are clinically safe to travel.

Derbyshire Fire and Rescue Service battled to contain the blaze which broke out in the shop at the hospital's main entrance and spread to the first floor before breaking through the roof.

More than 50 firefighters and 10 appliances were called to the scene as crews used an aerial platform, water jets and thermal imaging cameras to tackle the flames.

The first call came at 9.20pm after an automatic alarm went off and the fire service put the fire out by about 1am.

Firefighters handed the scene over to the hospital at around 10.30am today but some crews are still on site assisting with risk assessments. An investigation into the fire has been completed and it concluded an electrical appliance fault was the cause.

The hospital said the fire caused considerable damage to the main entrance, parts of the A&E reception area and the orthopaedic and fracture clinics.

From Monday, people attending for orthopaedic and fracture clinic out-patient appointments will be seen on Staveley Ward and the reception for some other services will move to the Scarsdale Wing entrance. With the A&E department operating only limited services, the hospital has asked local people to consider other available options, for minor injuries in particular.

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