STAFF had to be evacuated after a machine caught fire at Burnley General Hospital.

Two crews from Burnley fire station spent 90 minutes tackling the blaze in the hospital’s endoscopy sterilising unit at 5.55pm on Monday.

Alan Ashworth, crew manager at Burnley fire station, said an electrical fault in a water filtration unit was to blame.

He said: “Two firefighters wearing breathing apparatus entered the room and found a water filtration sterilising unit was well alight. Three carbon dioxide extinguishers were used to extinguish the blaze and limit water damage

“Damage was confined to the unit with smoke damage to the sterilising room. Fortunately there were no patients affected by the fire as it happened at the end of the working day.

“Staff were evacuated from the premises whilst the fire was dealt with.”

The endoscopy unit at the Casterton Avenue hospital, made up of three suites, is used as a day surgery for outpatients.

Mr Ashworth added: “The staff dealt with it superbly. Hopefully it doesn’t hit them today and they can operate as normal. All the damage was confined to the machine itself but electrical products always produce thick, dense smoke which may have caused internal damage.”