8 dead after Irma knocks out air conditioning at Florida nursing home

Eight people have died after Hurricane Irma knocked out air conditioning at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida, police said.

While the cause of death was not immediately clear, the facility, Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, evacuated all its residents to hospitals because of the cooling problem.

Most of the deceased were treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues, officials said. Their ages ranged from 71 to 99, the Hollywood Police Department said at a news conference this evening.

Hollywood Fire Rescue crews responded to a call at about 3 a.m. today for a patient who was reported to be in cardiac arrest, and the patient was transported to a hospital, police said.

At 4 a.m., firefighters were sent back to the facility to transport a patient reported to be experiencing breathing problems, police said. After the second call, fire officials called the state Department of Children and Families to report concerns about the facility.

A third call later came in as well, police said. After fire rescue crews arrived, three patients were found dead on the second floor of the nursing home, and several other patients were found to be in “varying degrees of medical distress,” authorities said.

Of the eight deaths, seven occurred today, and one Tuesday night.

All remaining patients were removed from the center by 9:15 a.m., after additional rescue units were called in and a complete evacuation of the facility was ordered, police said.

WPLG
Hurricane Irma knocks out air conditioning at the Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills in Hollywood, Fla.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief tonight said the center had contacted the county’s Emergency Operations Center Tuesday morning to alert the health and medical team that it had lost power. The incident was then reported as a “mission-critical request” to Florida Power & Light for power restoration.

Later that day, the center said it had done a survey of the property and that…

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