A large fire enveloped the Gibson Cancer Center in Lumberton, this morning. The fire, which began at 7am on a Saturday morning, fortunately caused no damage to any people, but destroyed $3 million worth of equipment.
Saturday is the day the center is closed for patients.
The radiation oncology center of the Lumberton Cancer Center, which had just opened 12 months ago, was heavily damaged in the fire.
Lumberton Fire Chief Paul Ivey said that the fire was controlled by a firewall that prevented it from reaching other areas of the building.
The facility, established in 1995, is the only outpatient cancer treatment center in Robeson County. The Pine Run Drive center, in addition to radiology, also offers biotherapy, chemotherapy, supports groups and other special events for cancer patients and their caregivers. It serves about 150 patients.
It will be several months before the facility will be able to open its doors to patients again, meanwhile patients will have to travel outside Robeson County for treatment.
Lori Dove, vice president of post-acute care at Southeastern Health, said “It’s devastating for out patients, community and staff, these people that we’re treating are fighting for their lives and we have to fight just as hard for them.”
The radiation oncology wing of Gibson Cancer Center opened July 17, 2014, as part of a $6 million expansion to the site. The fire damaged at least $3million worth of equipment.
Dove was taking the whole thing as positively as possible, stating that the facility was insured and no one was hurt, which is the most important things.
Thirty brave firefighters from Lumberton Fire Department and Northwood’s Fire Department responded to the fire, as well as emergency responders from Lumberton Rescuer and EMS.
Firefighters were extinguishing fire till 1.00pm, because of the remaining hotspots they were unable to enter the building and determine the cause of the fire.
The WoodHaven nursing home next door was evacuated just as a form of precaution, even though the fire did not carry the damage or injuries to that building, or even many other areas in the burning building for that matter.
A hotline has bee set up for Gibson Cancer Center patients and their family members. The hotline can be reached at 910-671-5599.