The Gibson Cancer Center experienced a lot of heavy damage by a fire this morning, leaving the 40 cancer patients with no other choice than going to some other facility to get treatment.
Fortunately none were hurt during the fire which began at 7 a.m, as the facility is not open during Saturdays.
The blaze brought heavy damage to the 3 million radiation oncology wing of the facility, which has been open for 12 months. A firewall prevented the fire from getting to other areas of the building, Lumberton Fire Chief Paul Ivey said.
Established in 199, the facility 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 will be several months before the wing is operational again. Southeastern Health spokesperson Amanda Crabtree said Southeastern Health is arranging for patients to receive treatment at other facilities.
Thirty brave firefighters from Lumberton Fire Department and Northwoods Fire Department responded to the fire,as well as emergency responders from Lumberton Rescure and EMS. The firefighters were still at the facility this morning at 9:30, extinguishing hot spots.
Because of the remaining hotspots, firefighters 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.