Lincoln Police arrested a Lincoln man who they say set the fire as part of an elaborate plan to burglarize Bryan West Campus.
Police arrested 33-year-old Roy Bivans for arson and attempted burglary. They say he set the fire in the women's bathroom at Bryan West Campus to use as a distraction while he broke into the pharmacy.
Police say he has an addiction to prescription drugs.
Lincoln Fire and Rescue Crews responded to a report of a fire at on October 8th at 8:15 p.m.
Investigators found smoldering clothing in three different locations in a bathroom ceiling.
According to Inspector Roger Chapp, no construction work was being done above the ceiling, hospital staff had no knowledge of anyone who would be in the ceiling and there was no cause for the clothing to catch fire.
Lincoln Fire and Rescue Assistant Chief Pat Borer said the fire started near the cafeteria. The hospital's smoke detectors and fire alarm system picked up the fire.
Borer said the fire was partially put out by employees when LFR crews got there, firefighters then completely put it out.
Crews found articles of clothing near where the fire happened. Borer said that's odd and not something you commonly find near a fire.
Police traced calls and text messages and were able to place Bivans at the hospital at the time of the fire.
No one was hurt in the fire and no patients were evacuated. Some smoke did drift into the emergency room area but was quickly cleared.
"Safety is number one, so when it comes to a fire, it's so important we have the necessary equipment and training to ensure the safety of our patients," David Reese with Bryan Health said.
Bryan West Campus has a plan ready for action if needed. Staff will remove anyone in immediate danger, activate the alarm, contain the fire and finally extinguish the flames or evacuate.
"Patients rely on us to be the eyes and ears and to be the folks who are going to take care of them and to provide their safety," Reese said.
Smoke detectors, sprinklers and fire walls help keep patients safe.
"Our building is compartmentalized with means there are fire walls built up in certain parts of the building. So when the alarm triggers, the doors will shut many hallways and nursing areas," Reese said.
With training put to the test, hospital staff are still looking for ways to improve, while police search for a suspect.