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ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: Smoke cause for alarm at NMC
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Smoke from a construction-related source was reported at Newton Medical Center on Tuesday.

            According to Newton Medical officials, the smoke was discovered at 10 a.m. in a construction area on the third floor of the hospital.

            The smoke came from sparks that were set off by welding, according to Assistant Chief of Engineering Jeff Womack. Womack said he and his crew found some insulation board smoldering. It was torn out and the area was watered by Covington Fire Department workers.

            The Covington Fire Department was called to the scene shortly after the smoke was discovered, and the area was quickly closed to foot and vehicular traffic.

            According to hospital officials, no patients were in danger because no patients were located on the third floor due to the construction, and patients and staff members on the floor below were evacuated.

            "We have evacuated the physical therapy and cardiopulmonary departments, which are directly below this construction area because of potential water damage in extinguishing the fire," Womack said.

            The air conditioning for that end of the building was also turned off to prevent the spread of the smoke.

            Repairs to the damaged area will begin on Wednesday.