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

Historic 5 and 10 store eyes state grant

Historic 5 and 10 store eyes state grant

"We're conducting a criminal investigation into the deaths that occurred here", said Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez, during a press conference Wednesday morning.

In Hollywood, the Rehabilitation Center said the hurricane had knocked out a transformer that powered the air conditioning.

As a precaution, police are also visiting 42 other facilities in the city to make sure patients are okay.

Elderly residents were evacuated Wednesday morning from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills which lost power during the storm.

Broward officials said that the nursing home was in compliance with state and federal rules that require an evacuation plan.

A police spokesperson simply said "a number of people" were "in respiratory distress" at the facility. "Men in hard hats are attractive!" said one of the women, obviously just joking with the Wisconsin men, but also making it clear that she would like it if they would get the power turned back on at her house.

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The center had been without air conditioning, Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told reporters on Wednesday.

Friday afternoon, the state's Agency for Health Care Administration said conditions at the facility present a threat to the safety of residents and it suspended the nursing home indefinitely from taking patients paid for by Florida Medicaid.

Irma may have moved on from Florida, but lingering dangers caused by the storm, including carbon monoxide poisoning and heat-related incidents caused by a lack of air conditioning, remain in the Sunshine State, as millions wait for power to be restored.

Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths were heat-related, adding it was a "sad event".

"We stayed with her for about four hours and then they decided they were going to take all the equipment off", said Wingo, "and that was it". Three more residents were found dead on the second floor of the facility, and another was already with the coroner. The staff used fans, put cold towels and ice on the patients, and gave them cold drinks.

Irma killed at least 36 people in Florida, Georgia and SC, according to officials. Jon says that "apparently, the facility lost some, but not all of its power after Hurricane Irma".

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It says it's focusing first on restoring power at schools, hospitals and other critical infrastructure.

An estimated 150 facilities out of the almost 700 in the state are now without full power services, the association said. There simply wasn't enough generator power to keep all residents at a safe temperature while also running other crucial equipment, like kitchen appliances.

Dr Randy Katz, medical director of the emergency department at Memorial Regional Hospital, said the hospital began receiving patients early on Wednesday.

The stepped-up efforts came after the eight deaths the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which shocked the state's top leaders even as they surveyed destruction from a storm that spread its punishing effects across the entire state.

There are 683 nursing homes in Florida with over 84,000 beds, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, which licenses and regulates these facilities.

In addition to severe flooding across Florida and extensive property damage in the Keys, one of the chief hardships facing Floridians has been widespread power outages that initially plunged more than half the state into darkness.

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