FILE -- Alcoves for patients are set up in the hallway of the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre can be seen in this tbnewswatch.com file photograph.
The Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre has been charged with a fire code violation for putting patients in alcoves.
"We understand the hospital does have a lot of challenges with overcrowding and with gridlock and things like that, but it doesn't preclude complying with the fire code," said Thunder Bay Fire Rescue Chief John Hay.
Hay said the investigation was done late last year in December and said the violation was around patients being placed in areas of the hospital like alcoves that were not intended for patients.
"It becomes a risky situation," the chief said.
"It makes it more difficult to evacuate people in the event of a fire and it probably goes against their fire safety plan also, which is approved by the fire department."
The hospital has been in a gridlock situation since Dec. 30, 2013.
After inspection from Thunder Bay Fire Rescue, the hospital immediately corrected the situation but Hay said the violation was serious enough to warrant the charge.
Hay also said the hospital should look toward provincial partners to help them with their capacity issues.
"It would be bad if we had to continue charging the hospital because they had no room or they had no capacity. I think they should be looking at their funding partners to see if they can get some support," he said.
Hospital officials could not be immediately reached for comment.