Man charged with arson after fire at hospital prompts evacuation of patients

Rebecca Speare-Cole
·2 min read
A fire broke out at Leeds General Infirmary. (Google Maps)
A fire broke out at Leeds General Infirmary. (Google Maps)

A man has been charged with arson after a fire was deliberately started at a Leeds hospital, prompting its evacuation.

Staff and patients in the Leeds General Infirmary had to be cleared from the building after a blaze broke out on Thursday.

West Yorkshire Police were called just before 6pm to reports of a man armed with a screwdriver causing damage to units and threatening to start a fire, a spokesman said at the time.

Footage from the scene shows patients being wheeled out of the hospital and into the cold on trolleys.

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Nobody was injured during the incident and people were soon allowed back inside after the blaze was extinguished quickly by fire crews.

But a man was arrested at the scene.

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Kriss Jackson, 43, of Leeds, has been charged with arson with intent to endanger life, police said.

He is also charged with affray, possession of a bladed article and two counts of assault. He was due to appear before magistrates on Saturday.

Detective Inspector James Entwistle, of Leeds CID, said: "We would like to thank everyone who has contacted us so far with regard to this investigation.

"We also continue to appeal for anyone who was present in either the A&E or X-Ray department between 5 and 6pm on 21 January to contact us, as it is possible they will be able to assist our enquiries further."

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A spokesperson for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said at the time: "We can confirm that there was a small fire at Leeds General Infirmary this evening.

"The fire was extinguished quickly and nobody was injured.

"Staff and patients were evacuated from the building for a short period and police investigations into the cause of the fire are ongoing.

"We would like to thank our staff and the emergency services who responded quickly to the incident."

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