Tragic A/C was on fritz
Air conditioning broke down often at the Florida nursing home where eight elderly people died last week in the sweltering aftermath of Hurricane Irma, a former senior employee said.
Cristina Bichachi, the former business-development director at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, told the Associated Press that the air conditioning went on the fritz “many, many times” during the three years she worked there.
Nursing home owner Jack Michel never replaced the system, Bichachi said. Michel’s attorney didn’t respond to a request for comment from the AP.
Bichachi, who quit over a year ago, said the A/C in the 152-bed facility often shut down for two or three days at a time.
Last week, the temperatures inside some patients’ rooms reportedly climbed to over 100 degrees, eventually forcing the evacuation of 145 patients.
Nursing home officials blamed a blown transformer for cutting power to the air conditioning unit.