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Nursing Home Patients Dead After Irma Knocks out Power

Nursing Home Patients Dead After Irma Knocks out Power

Five people are reported dead after an issue with an air conditioning system prompted the evacuation of a Hollywood, Florida, retirement home.

Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths at the Rehabilitation Centre at Hollywood Hills were heat-related, and added: "The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation".

An assisted living center that went without power for almost three days said that its efforts to run fans and keep breezes flowing between open windows could only go so far.

Gov. Rick Scott declared in a statement, "I'm going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place".

"Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable", he said. "If they find that anyone wasn't acting in the best interests of their patients, we will hold them accountable to the fullest extent of the law", the governor said.

The power company, however, said the nursing home bore at least some responsibility. "Can't give you anything more specific than that at this point".

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is not part of the Memorial Healthcare System.

Emergency services were called after some residents awoke sick.

The owner of the nursing home also is an officer of Larkin Community Hospital, a medical center with a troubled history.

Some residents of the Keys were met with scenes of devastation on Tuesday after police lifted roadblocks and began allowing people to return to the string of islands off Florida's southern coast. Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story said there were "a number of critical patients".

Monday: Irma downgraded to tropical storm after shoving past Tampa Bay
Emergency Management and the American Red Cross and county emergency managers also opened shelters in the following locations. The hurricane is expected to make a slow, ruinous march up the state's west coast, hitting the heavily populated Tampa-St.

The death toll from Hurricane Irma is climbing with authorities reporting six patients at a Florida nursing home died after it had lost power, as millions struggle with no electricity and scarce essential services in the storm-hit state.

"It's extremely hot on the second floor of the facility", Sanchez said, but wouldn't specify if any of the six victims lived on the second floor of the two-floor building.

A statement released by the Florida Health Care Association, which represents 81 percent of Florida nursing homes, says 150 out of 700 facilities in the state now do not have power.

Had they had other financial means, Mitchell says, the family would have taken Wilson out of the rehabilitation center long ago if it weren't for their insurance and the inability to choose where they wanted to go.

"Was not interested to get there", she said, blaming Florida Power and Light, not the nursing home staff, for the deaths.

"Our centers' first priority is always the safety and well-being of every resident in their care and they are doing everything in their power to meet their immediate and ongoing needs", wrote the association's executive director, Kristen Knapp.

"Approximately 150 facilities out of the almost 700 (nursing) facilities in the state do not now have full power services restored", the statement said.

Huge swaths of the Sunshine State are living in darkness as the clean-up begins and utility companies draft in workers from as far as Canada to help fix the damage.

Scott ordered the AHCA and the Department of Children and Families to investigate this rehabilitation center. In addition, there are more than 3,100 assisted living facilities with over 99,000 beds.


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