Oregon Health & Science University is adopting additional safety measures after an investigation into a bizarre fire that burned a girl showed the hospital failed to respond appropriately.
The state fire marshal completed its investigation Friday into the Feb. 2 fire caused by olive oil, hand sanitizer and static electricity.
Ireland Lane, 12, was at Doernbecher Children's Hospital after hitting her head at school. Ireland's dad had rubbed oil in her hair to remove glue from test equipment, she had used hand sanitizer and then the spark that came from static electricity in her bedding ignited the fire.
The fire burned her from her stomach to her chin. She has undergone two skin grafts since then.
A letter from the fire marshal states:
"Based on observations, documentation review, and interviews with hospital staff, the State Fire Marshals determined that the hospital failed to ensure that the physical environment was constructed, arranged, and maintained to ensure the safety of patients. The hospital failed to respond appropriately to an actual fire incident. Required inspections of fire alarms, sprinklers, doors, fire extinguisher, and generators were not conducted as required; and fire drills and inservice trainings were not conducted as required. The cumulative effect of these systemic problems resulted in an Immediate jeopardy situation and a threat to the health and safety of patients and staff."
Within hours of receiving the report, OHSU staff said an action plan was created. The measures were submitted and accepted by the fire marshal's office.
Among the measures is regular, mandatory fire safety training for 98 percent of employees working in a health care setting. Fire drills will be performed on each shift at each hospital unit where patient care is provided.
Additionally, all fire and life safety systems such as fire extinguishers, alarms and sprinklers will be inspected by experts, who will document their finds and submit their reports within 45 days.
The Portland Fire Department will also be immediately notified of all unplanned smoke, electrical sparks, flames or fires within the hospital. The state fire marshal's office will be notified within 24 hours for investigative purposes.
For her part, Ireland has remained positive. The cancer survivor said in an interview with Fox 12 that she's looking forward to going back to school and having everything get back to normal.
"If you just breathe and think of happy things when you first get there, it will work out fine," she said.
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