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Royal Marsden evacuated after blaze

Hundreds of cancer patients and staff had to be evacuated from one of Britain’s most famous hospitals after a devastating fire broke out in the building.

Dozens of firefighters battled the blaze as it spread across the roof and upper floors of the Royal Marsden Hospital in Fulham Road, central London.

As a result of the fire, two operations had to be stopped and 79 in-patients were transferred to neighbouring hospitals.

Out-patients were taken to the nearby church of St Paul in Onslow Square before being admitted to other hospitals or assessed on whether they could go home, while around 800 staff were also forced to leave the site.

Two hospital employees were taken to the nearby Chelsea and Westminster Hospital suffering from the effects of smoke inhalation but were later released.

The Royal Marsden’s chief executive Cally Palmer said the fire started in the fourth floor plant room.

Ms Palmer said: “There was construction work adjacent, but we’ve no idea what the cause of the fire was at this stage.

“We’re still trying to access the extent of the damage the fire has caused but it has mainly affected one part of the building.

“Five operating theatres and at least two wards are very badly affected.”

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Royal Marsden Hospital