FACT CHECK: Were 2 Hospitals Set On Fire During George Floyd Protests In Columbus, Ohio?
An image shared on Facebook purportedly shows Grant Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, set on fire during recent protests.
There hasn’t been a fire at either hospital since the protests in Columbus began.
Protests and riots have occurred in cities across the country following the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in Minneapolis police custody after an officer knelt on his neck for over eight minutes, according to video of the incident. There have been a number of demonstrations in Columbus, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
The image shows a screen grab of another Facebook post featuring two smoke-filled photos taken in Columbus. The caption, seemingly referencing OhioHealth Grant Medical Center and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, reads, “If you believe that the ‘protests’ are still ok, you’re out of your mind!! Setting a Children’s hospital and Grant on fire is beyond protesting.”
Contrary to the post’s claims, neither hospital has caught fire during recent protests in Columbus. Spokespeople for OhioHealth, the hospital system that manages Grant Medical Center, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital confirmed as much in emails to the Daily Caller.
“I verified with both our facilities and security teams,” Katie Logan, an OhioHealth spokesperson, said in an email. “We have not had any fires at OhioHealth Grant Medical Center in the last 30 days.”
“The fire was not on our property,” Katelyn Hanzel, a senior media relations specialist at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, confirmed. (RELATED: Viral Image Claims To Show Singapore Hospital Bill Sent To COVID-19 Patient)
The fire in the photo’s left image appears to have occurred on May 30 near Oak and 5th streets, more than a block away from Grant Medical Center. The roof of the Christian Spiritualist Temple on nearby 6th Street can be seen in the photo. CBS affiliate WBNS-TV reported that witnesses told the fire investigation unit the fire “was set by rioters.”
In the photo on the right, Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Big Lots Behavioral Health Pavilion is visible, but the smoke that appears in the photo may actually have come from a May 31 fire that happened at an apartment building construction site, according to the Columbus Dispatch.
On May 30, Columbus Mayor Andrew Ginther signed an executive order implementing a 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew that will remain in effect until he rescinds it, according to a tweet from the city’s government.