LOUISVILLE, Colo. (CBS4) – As another sign of slow, but sure recovery, Centura Avista Adventist Hospital in Louisville reopened on Jan. 18. It evacuated dozens of patients when the Marshall Fire began.
The fire came within feet of oxygen tanks, and employees stopped those flames using hoses and buckets of water.
While the hospital was spared from the flames, but it suffered extensive smoke damage.
Cleaning crews have spent the last 19 days extensively cleaning and working to restore the hospital to operating conditions which included replacing all air filtration systems with more than 200 air scrubbers.
The ceiling tiles on the first floor were replaces and the floors were scrubbed and sanitized. An industrial hygienist was also called in to make sure the facility is safe for everyone.
Hospital officials tell CBS4 they weren’t sure how quickly the hospital could reopen.
“When I came back on site there was ash on the floor. It was quiet, right? The hospitals were quiet. I mean, the hospitals are never quiet. You just never imagined it would take only 19 days to get it reopened, but the staff has worked so hard to make that happen,” said Jennifer Wills, Vice President of Staff and Communications for Centura Health.
The cleaning crew and hospital staff was welcomed with signs of appreciation from the community which read “welcome back,” “you are a hero,” and “thank you.”
Among employees at the hospital, 12 of them lost their homes in the fire, and others suffered a partial loss. Centura Health says it is continuing to support them with temporary housing, financial assistance and paid time off for those unable to work.