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The Prevalence of Fires in Nursing Homes Puts Residents at Risk

News over the past few weeks reveals the serious risk of fire in nursing homes.  Nursing homes owe a legal duty to their residents to provide a safe environment.  What steps would a reasonable nursing home, using reasonable care, take to ensure the safety of its residents?  Keep in mind that most of these are residents are not able to protect themselves in the event of a fire in the nursing.

In Indiana: Four weeks ago, an 82-year-old womanwas critically injured during a fire at the Bethany Village Extended Care nursing home in Indianapolis.  The woman was taken to a hospital in critical condition after she went into cardiac arrest. Fifteen other patients in the nursing home were evacuated, according to a news report.

In Wisconsin: Two weeks ago, the Glenhaven Nursing Home in Glenwood City, WI caught on fire, requiring over 100 firefighters to respond. The cause is currently under investigation, according to a news report.

In Florida: Also in mid-January, a fire occurred at the Sinai Plaza Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in North Miami. One resident was taken to the hospital for smoke inhalation, while the other two “had medical conditions that were agitated by the whole stress of being evacuated,’’ according to a news report.

In Quebec: Five people are known to be dead and police continue to search for 30 missing people after the L’Isle-Verte nursing home caught on fire in Quebec last week. Cold temperatures hampered efforts to search for those missing and police fear some were burned and frozen into ice that formed from the water used to fight the fire, according to a news report.  “Officials say 20 people escaped. But many residents used walkers, wheelchairs or couldn’t get around on their own.”

In response to the Quebec fire, the vice-president of advocacy for the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, Susan Eng, called for action: “So then let’s look at L’Isle-Verte: a three storey wood structure with no sprinklers and no information as to whether there were fire doors or “zones.” All we hear from the provincial minister is that the home complied with existing regulations. So that’s okay then?”

The Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm represents clients in cases involving catastrophic injury caused by nursing homes and other care facilities that fail to provide proper care. If you believe your loved one has been harmed due to a nursing home’s failures, take action today and contact the Kosieradzki • Smith Law Firm online or call us toll-free at (877) 552-2873 to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.