Two Select Specialty employees and one employee of Duke University Health System were injured, she said.
The names of the dead and injured were not immediately released.
The hospital was operating normally several hours later. The waiting area showed no sign of the fire. Visitors entered and left, and doctors and other hospital employees went about their business, getting coffee and heading back to their work. A television provided the only background noise.
Karen Baker of Mebane was waiting while her husband underwent an outpatient procedure. She said she initially was worried when she heard that an explosion occurred at the hospital. She called to make sure the hospital was still performing outpatient procedures.
She felt better when she learned it was a fire and that it was limited to the sixth floor.
Durham Regional is a 369-bed acute care hospital.
Martha Waggoner can be reached at http://twitter.com/mjwaggonernc