Man arrested after fire which led to evacuation at Leeds hospital

21 January 2021, 22:08

A man has been arrested following a small fire at Leeds General Infirmary
A man has been arrested following a small fire at Leeds General Infirmary. Picture: PA
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

A man has been arrested after a fire broke out at Leeds General Infirmary that led to patients and staff being evacuated.

The small fire was started in the hospital's A&E department and has now been extinguished by West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS).

Police were called to the infirmary shortly before 6pm to a report of a man wielding a screwdriver while damaging a unit, threatening staff and trying to start a fire.

Multiple fire engines were sent to the hospital and witnesses on social media said they saw patients and staff being evacuated from the building.

Most firefighters have now left but police officers remain at the scene.

It is not believed anybody was injured.

“Enquiries are ongoing this evening following an incident at a hospital in Leeds," a spokesperson for West Yorkshire Police said.

“Police were called to the Leeds General Infirmary at about 17:54 to a report of a man in possession of a screwdriver who was causing damage in a unit, had made threats, and was attempting to start a fire.

“The area was evacuated, and officers attended, located and arrested a man. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service also attended the hospital and extinguished fire inside the affected area.

“No-one is believed to have been injured in the incident.

“Police remain on scene and the suspect remains in custody.”

Leeds Teaching Hospitals tweeted: "A small fire at LGI this evening was extinguished quickly and nobody was injured.

"Staff and patients were evacuated for a short period and police investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing.

"Thank you to our staff, @WYFRS and @WestYorksPolice who responded quickly."

Labour MP for Leeds Central Hilary Benn tweeted: "I do hope everyone is OK."

One Leeds General Infirmary employee told a LeedsLive reporter at the scene: “We were told to evacuate immediately because of a fire. It’s the first time I have ever had to evacuate the hospital.”