6 die at Florida nursing home in storm’s sweltering aftermath
HOLLYWOOD, FLA. » Six patients at a sweltering nursing home died in Hurricane Irma’s aftermath, raising fears Wednesday about the safety of Florida’s 4 million senior citizens amid widespread power outages that could go on for days.
Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills were related to the heat. “The building has been sealed off and we are conducting a criminal investigation,” he said.
Sanchez said investigators have not ruled anything out, including carbon monoxide poisoning from generators. The chief said investigators will look into how many windows were open; the air conditioning wasn’t working.
Gov. Rick Scott called on Florida emergency workers to immediately check on nursing homes and assisted living facilities to make sure patients are safe. He ordered an investigation into the “unfathomable” situation.