Emergency room reopened after evacuation

Dozens of patients moved outside after seeing smoke

Published On: Jan 17 2013 07:31:19 AM CST   Updated On: Jan 17 2013 07:38:43 AM CST

A hospital emergency room reopened Thursday after medical staff were forced to evacuate patients.

Employees at the Northwest Houston Medical Center at 710 FM 1960 started seeing smoke coming out of the air vents at 1:30 a.m.  They evacuated about 20 to 25 people from the emergency room.

The fire department responded and found a mechanical failure. Officials said the belt on a motor stopped turning and started smoking.

The emergency room was closed for several hours while the fire department used large fans to help vent the smoke out of the room.  It reopened around 4 a.m.

No firefighters or patients were injured in the incident.