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Fire Hits NYU Hospital Construction Site

Friday, December 16, 2016

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A rooftop area of a hospital building that is currently under construction was the site of a fire that sent black smoke billowing over Manhattan Wednesday (Dec. 14).

The Helen L. and Martin S. Kimmel Pavilion, an 830,000-square-foot tower set to open in 2018, is part of the New York University Langone Medical Center. Because the building is new construction, no patients were at risk, though some patients in the adjacent Tisch Hospital were moved as a precautionary measure, according to reports.

Metal Cutting Eyed

The cause of the blaze is under investigation, though police reportedly said Wednesday night that it was likely caused by a spark generated while cutting metal. NBC New York reported that one person refused medical attention at the scene, and no other injuries were reported.

According to general contractor Turner Construction, the fire started on the seventh floor of the building, which topped out at 21 stories earlier this year.

"The New York City Fire Department and other first responders were immediately notified,” Turner spokesman Christopher McFadden told Engineering News-Record. “The area was safely evacuated and the fire was under control and extinguished within the hour. The cause of the incident is currently under investigation."

Roofing Materials May Have Contributed

Officials speculated that materials such as insulation boards or roofing materials likely contributed to the thick smoke that resulted from the two-alarm fire. NYU Langone confirmed via a statement published by Gothamist that the site of the fire was a seventh-floor rooftop.

Kimmel pavilion
Rendering courtesy NYU Langone

The Kimmel Pavilion, set to open in 2018, was designed by Ennead Architects.

According to development news site YIMBY, the Kimmel Pavilion, on East 34th Street, was designed by Ennead Architects, an international firm with offices in New York and Shanghai.

Ennead, formerly known as Polshek Partnership, has designed many academic, arts and medical buildings, and is known for designing the William J. Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock, AR.


Tagged categories: Accidents; Construction; Contractors; Fire; Good Technical Practice; Health Care/Hospitals; North America; Safety

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