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Fire at Leeds General Infirmary as man ‘armed with screwdriver’ sparks evacuation

A man allegedly armed with a screwdriver has been arrested after a fire was started in a hospital – sparking the evacuation of patients and staff.

Patients and staff were evacuated from Leeds General Infirmary as a witness claimed smoke was “filling up the corridors”.

All three emergency services were pictured at the hospital and a police cordon was set up.

A West Yorkshire Police spokesperson said tonight: “Enquiries are ongoing this evening following an incident at a hospital in Leeds.

“Police were called to the Leeds General Infirmary at about 17.54 to a report of a man in possession of a screwdriver who was causing damage in a unit, had made threats, and was attempting to start a fire.

“The area was evacuated, and officers attended, located and arrested a man. West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service also attended the hospital and extinguished fire inside the affected area.

“No-one is believed to have been injured in the incident.

“Police remain on scene and the suspect remains in custody.”

Earlier, the Yorkshire Evening Post reported three fires had been set off deliberately in the hospital, though thid number has not been confirmed by official sources.

A man with former colleagues at the scene said smoke had filled the corridors in several areas.

The man, quoted by the local paper, said: “I heard that the smoke was filling up the corridors from A and E up to ICU and Theatres (one level up).”

Fire crews have been seen bagging evidence.

A spokesperson for Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust said: “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.”

Buses were unable to go past the hospital, with First West Yorks tweeting: “Service 5 towards Albion Street – Due to an obstruction on Clarendon Way the service is currently following the 5A route. We are sorry for any inconvenience caused.”

The Mirror has contacted the hospital and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service for comment.

Pictures and video posted on social media showed multiple fire engines and police cars around the A&E tonight.

Officers were diverting traffic on the main road by the hospital.

Witnesses have taken to social media and have said that patients have been spotted being evacuated from the building on Great George Street.

LeedsLive reporter Charlie Wilson, is at the scene and said that there are currently around 10 police vehicles in attendance.

Two fire engines are still on the scene and police are currently diverting motorists away from the hospital via Calverly Street and Clarendon Way.

It is understood that the A&E department is currently closed, though staff and patients are believed to have returned to the building.