More than 200 children and elderly patients were evacuated from four floors of a medical center when a fire broke out in a utility shaft Thursday afternoon.

Salt Lake County Fire Lt. Jack Orgill said the fire broke out in a shaft near the first floor of the Doxey-Hatch Medical Center, 1255 E. 39th South, at 1:40 p.m. The small fire was sparked by workers welding pipes."Some workers with a cutting torch were working on some plumbing, and some hot embers fell on some debris left in the shaft during construction," Orgill said.

After the fire filled the building with thick, black smoke, three members of the center's staff and two patients were taken to St. Mark's and Cottonwood hospitals to be treated for smoke inhalation and were later released.

The fire was contained within 15 minutes. Fire damage was estimated at $100 and smoke damage at $500.

Patients were allowed to return to their rooms shortly after 3 p.m.