The deadly fire in the modular COVID hospital in Tetovo which killed 14 people was a result of a short circuit in a cord of a defibrillator, announced the Basic Public Prosecution – Tetovo, citing Ministry of Interior’s (MOI) forensic report. After the electric short circuit, the fire broke out in the outlet box of the extension cord where, apart from the defibrillator, a mobile phone and another device were also connected. No additional details about the devices were revealed in the Prosecution’s press release.
“Namely, the forensic examination established that the fire broke out as a result of an electric short circuit in the extension cord of a defibrillator that was used for reanimation of a patient in one of the rooms,” the Public Prosecution explains.
“The overheating of the cord caused an ignition in the outlet box of the extension cord to which a defibrillator, mobile phone charger and another device were connected,” Public Prosecution says.
Further, it is stated that even though the medical personnel have tried to extinguish the fire when it broke out, “a blaze occurred that quickly widespread across the whole facility, across the roof panels toward the lower areas of the panel walls and the hospital’s inventory.”
The prosecutors have concluded that since all of the patients that were hospitalized at that moment were linked to the centralized medical oxygen network, the percentage of oxygen in the hospital was increased.
“Due to the damaging of the oxygen installation during the fire, the blaze has spread all across the facility in a very short period of time,” the press release states.
Another factor has contributed to the fire’s faster spread i.e. in the attic’s room there weren’t any partitions between the sections (the rooms and the hallway) that would have slowed the fire’s progress.
As the Prosecution stated, the investigation is still undergoing, and this expert evaluation is one of the secured evidence so far, the report from the German experts is expected to be published soon and there are other reports that are still not submitted.