PERFORMANCE: A fault in an extractor fan caused the temporary closure of the accident and emergency department at Mid Staffordshire Foundation Trust yesterday.

The incident started shortly after 10am and prompted an evacuation of the area and an nearby ward by hospital staff with ambulances diverted to nearby hospitals in North Staffordshire and the West Midlands.

Flames were spotted inside ducting in a ground floor rest area adjacent to the A&E department and were seen shooting from the ducting through an extraction fan on the outside of the building.”

Firefighters used hose reel jets to bring the blaze under control with a portable ventilation unit to help clear smoke from the area.

The trust said there was limited smoke and fire damage and the department reopened by 12.30pm.

Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service said the fire was caused by an electrical fault in an extractor fan.