Fire at UNC Hospitals’ Parking Deck Shuts Down Walking Bridge

By Danny Hooley Posted July 7, 2014 at 1:43 pm

An early-morning fire beneath the walkway between the hospital and the Dogwood Parking Deck destroyed five golf carts, and temporarily shut down the bridge across Manning Drive.

Fortunately, the 2:30 a.m. blaze was extinguished by Chapel Hill firefighters in about 15 minutes, and no one was hurt, according to a press release from UNC Hospitals.

But as a result, the traffic light at the intersection of Manning and Hospital Drives was not working. Drivers were cautioned to proceed as if there were a stop sign there.

Pedestrians were advised to cross an alternate bridge or use the street.

Investigators have learned that the fire was caused by a battery malfunction in one of the golf carts.

The bridge and the valet parking lot will remain closed until a cleanup of the area is completed.

WRAL News reported that hospital visitors said they heard and felt an explosion.

***Update: The traffic light is once again operational; the pedestrian bridge has been checked for structural damage and is reported to be safe for pedestrians and golf carts.

WRAL News reported that fire began when a battery in a golf cart near the valet stand malfunctioned.

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