More than one hundred patients and about two hundred employees were evacuated. UTMB says there were no patients on the floor where the fire started but there were patients on floors above the fire.
Dr. David Callender of UTMB said, "The location of the fire allowed the smoke to spread out in the major access areas so we had to manage the movement of the patients to keep them away from the smoke."
He added the fire started in a construction zone where parts of the hospital are under renovation.
No injuries are reported and six pediatric patients have been transferred to the ER at John Sealy.
Two patients who were in labor have been transferred to the ER at John Sealy and 11 pediatric patients have been transferred to the ER at Shriners Hospitals for Children.
Galveston Fire Chief Mike Wisko said, "There were no injuries. Plenty of patients who required medical care, but not related to the fire."
John Sealy Hospital & Annex are being evacuated. Firefighters searching for source of smoke. Please avoid these areas until further notice.— UTMB News (@utmbnews) January 4, 2017
The hospital says it was mostly women and children evacuated today and the hospital wasn't as full as it had been in the past. Last April the Jennie Sealy building opened where most of their adult patients now receive treatment. About a dozen newborns who were at the hospital won't remember anything about this day but their mothers will never forget.
The state fire marshal is investigating the cause of the fire. UTMB police say for now John Sealy Hospital and John Sealy Annex will remain closed until further notice. The sprinkler system went off causing heavy water damage in the entire building.
Patients are being managed in the emergency rooms until their final destination is determined.