MUSCLE SHOALS, Ala. – Firefighters spent more than six hours on the scene of a blaze in Muscle Shoals Wednesday night. Alarms sounded just before 6:30 p.m., allowing firefighters to arrive in time to save the multi-story medical office building.

The Shoals Hospital Medical Office Building remains closed Thursday evening, while fire inspectors try and determine what exactly happened here Wednesday night.

Most every truck and firefighter the city of Muscle Shoals has in their department responded to the alarms. Inspectors say the fire appears to have started in a vacant suite.

“It is hard, it’s different from a normal structure fire to where we pull our lines off the trucks and they are hooked to the trucks. We have to get the hoses to that location,” explained Fire Chief Shawn Malone.

With multiple 150-foot packs of hose in tow, firemen took their equipment to the fight. Chief Malone says the building was constructed prior to sprinkler systems became mandatory.

“They hooked up the hose lines in the stairwells using the stand-pipe. When they started down the hallway they encountered thick and heavy smoke; they couldn’t see good,” said Malone.

Exterior windows had to be broken out to ventilate the building. Chief Malone says the fire was contained to the one suite.

“The third floor in the fire area is pretty bad, there was a lot of heat. It was a hot fire, heavy smoke. The third floor has got soot from smoke all the way through.”

Additional fire investigators have been called in to assist due to considerable monetary damage.

The third floor will be closed indefinitely. It will be up to fire inspectors and hospital leadership as to when the first and second floors will be safe to return to. For those who may have a doctor’s appointment in the Shoals Hospital Medical Office Building, you are urged to contact the hospitals front desk for further instructions.