Columbus Medical Center Fire

COLUMBUS, GA (WXTX) - Smoke filled the air above Columbus Regional Medical Center Monday morning from a fire that started in the kitchen.  Firefighters reacted fast. They arrived on the scene within minutes.  The hospital responded to code red, evacuating employees, visitors and outpatients on the first floor as a precaution.

"All the equipment emergency equipment functioned as it should. The alarm notified the fire department, the smoke detectors worked, shut down all the ventilating systems limiting the area for smoke," says Tom Titus, Senior Vice President of Columbus Healthcare Systems.

Deputy Chief, Greg Lang with the Columbus Fire Department says there's a possibility, this fire could have been prevented.

"A gas line did rupture, there behind the range. I can't say with 100 percent certainty that one caused the other, indications look like it could have come from a combustible stored too close to the range igniting the gas line or it got knocked away from the connection," according to Lang.

Lang says a trash can was too close to the range, causing it to overheat.  The fire was extinguished quickly turning a dangerous situation into a safe rescue.

The kitchen is out of commission temporarily. Meals are being prepared next door at Doctor's Hospital for Columbus Regional patients. The patients were never in danger and did not have to be evacuated. No one was hurt.