Smoke forces evacuation: Investigators focus on basement of structure; appointments delayed

By Adelle Whitefoot

Med Fire 2
MARQUETTE – A fire at the Upper Peninsula Medical Center forced evacuation of the complex this morning.

The Marquette Fire Department responded to a call at approximately 7:50 a.m. and the building, at 1414 W. Fair Ave., was evacuated. According to Marquette Fire Chief Tom Belt, the fire originated in a confined area of the center’s basement.

“We found where it originated, but we don’t know yet what started it,” Belt said. “There’s a lot of smoke down there, so it’s hard for them to see.”

After the fire was put out, the firefighters worked to make sure it couldn’t rekindle and removed the smoke from the building, Belt said.

“(The firefighters) started using positive pressure ventilation to remove the smoke, but it’s going throughout the whole building,” Belt said.

According to the medical center’s website, the building provides private offices for more than 120 physicians and other health care professionals.

Belt said the center wouldn’t be open again until at least noon, possibly later.

Due to the fire, the medical center canceled all appointments until noon, said Jennifer Heikkila, media coordinator for Marquette General Hospital.

“If anyone has any questions about rescheduling their appointments they should contact their physician’s office,” Heikkila said.

An update regarding afternoon appointments was set to be released around noon, Heikkila said. Updates will be posted to, as well as MGH social media, she said.