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Dead After Irma Knocks Out AC at Nursing Home
16 September 2017, 12:59 | Terri Saunders
Owner of nursing home where 6 died has history of fraud allegations
The six people who died were patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.
Scott vowed to punish anyone found culpable in the deaths.
Chief TomSanchez, the Hollywood Police Chief told that the precautionary checks would be scheduled to be done at other 42 nursing homes of Hollywood.
The facility is not the only Florida nursing home that has been left without power by Irma. One of them was later evacuated because of the heat. "We have other patients in critical care", he said, though he didn't elaborate.
The state has the largest percentage of residents who are 65 or older - 19.1% - the Pew Research Center said in 2014, citing census figures.
A kitchen worker at the center told the Miami Herald that the facility "had power from a generator to cook meals, but no air conditioning".
Power outages also remain an issue in the Jacksonville area. Florida's biggest utility lined up fix trucks in the Miami area, but officials say it could be more than a week before electricity is back for everyone.
Raelin Story, a Broward County spokesperson, said fire rescue operatives arrived at the home to find the facilities sweltering hot, leaving numerous elderly patients unable to breathe.
Hollywood police were tipped off about the patients in distress at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills on Wednesday morning around 4:00 a.m. Hollywood Police announced Wednesday they had started a criminal investigation.
Carbon monoxide from a generator is also suspected in the death of a man in Miami, while authorities say another dozen people were treated for carbon monoxide-related illnesses on Tuesday in Polk and Brevard counties.
Police have also started a criminal investigation, Sanchez added.
City officials confirmed that three of the senior citizens died at the nursing home, while another five succumbed to complications after being evacuated to Memorial Regional Hospital, which is located just a short distance away.
The nursing home's administrator, Jorge Carballo, said in a statement Wednesday evening that it was "cooperating fully with relevant authorities to investigate the circumstances that led to this unfortunate and tragic outcome". "Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe - especially patients that are in poor health". There are 683 nursing homes in Florida with more than 84,000 beds, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which licenses and regulates these facilities. The ex-husband of 71-year-old victim Gail Nova said her devastated family believes the facility should lose its license. Residents seeking respite flocked into the hallways and gathered around the small - too-small - portable air conditioners. But after more deaths sparked new questions about conditions at the center, the body was claimed by the medical examiner. She said Bobby Owens had been at the facility for more than 10 years.
Friends and relatives of the patients rushed to the nursing home Wednesday after learning that eight people had died. "But nobody from the facility has told me anything yet".
While staying in a hot building is unsafe for the elderly, experts say that the best thing for older people in a hurricane is often to shelter in a place, according to NBC.
Sharief said she's been concerned about the lack of power to facilities that are home to the elderly and others particularly vulnerable to the heat.
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