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Patient Sets Fire At San Mateo Medical Center, Leading To Standoff

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A San Mateo SWAT team responded after a patient set a small fire inside a hospital.  (CBS)

A San Mateo SWAT team responded after a patient set a small fire inside a hospital. (CBS)

SAN MATEO (KCBS) – A disgruntled patient set a small fire inside his room at San Mateo Medical Center on Tuesday night, which led to a standoff with police.

San Mateo police Sgt. Dave Norris said that they received a call around 10:45 p.m. about a patient who was upset and had set a small fire in one of the rooms. That led to hospital staff securing the area.

“Hospital security and staff started the evacuation knowing that there was a fire, so there was an immediate danger,” said Norris. “So they immediately sprung into action and started the evacuations.”

When police and the fire department arrived on scene, they were told the man may have been armed with a knife, which led to negotiations with the patient.

“San Mateo police set up a very tight perimeter around the room where this patient was situated,” Norris said. “We attempted to do some negotiations. We called in a special team and they also responded out and they very quickly were able to set up on that room and get that person safely detained.”

All told, the standoff lasted about two hours.

Norris said privacy rules prevent authorities from revealing any further details about the patient and what may have set him off.

There was minimal damage to the hospital room where the fire started and no other patients or hospital staff were injured in the incident.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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