Florida Nursing Home Where Six Died Had a History of Safety Issues

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Millions of people in Florida and other southeastern states lost power due to Irma, making the hurricane the worst weather-related power outage in USA history. Sharief confirmed during a news conference that three residents died at the center and two died at the hospital.

Three patients died at the nursing home, and three others died Wednesday morning shortly after being transported to local hospitals.

Rob Gould, a spokesman for Florida Power & Light Co., said parts of the Hollywood nursing-home facility had power from the utility, but declined to comment further on the specific situation.

Altogether, more than 100 patients there were found to be suffering in the heat and were evacuated, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs. The center had been without air conditioning since Irma arrived last weekend.

Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said another 115 patients were evacuated, including several in critical condition.

The storm destroyed about one-third of the buildings on the Dutch-governed portion of the eastern Caribbean island of St. Martin, the Dutch Red Cross said on Tuesday. "Every facility that is charged with caring for patients must take every action and precaution to keep their patients safe - especially patients that are in poor help". For scores of people, the air conditioning has been cut off as it poses a high level of danger. "I would be remiss if i didn't say our deepest sympathies goes out to the families of those lost their lives", Gould said.

Hollywood Fire Rescue evacuated residents from the rehab center on North 35th Avenue after some residents awoke sick.

"We are directing a criminal examination (and) not precluding anything as of now", Sanchez said at a question and answer session Wednesday.

It's not known how long the facility had been without power. The facility itself has power, the individual said.

"Most of the patients have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues", Randy Katz, a spokesman for Memorial Regional Hospital, told reporters.

The nursing home did have a generator; however, it is unclear if the generator was functional.

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is a 152-bed facility that provides short-term rehabilitative services and long-term care, according to its website.

Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jeff Williams told The Associated Press a deputy responded to the the home following a 911 call from what sounded like a juvenile.

Hurricane Irma knocked out power for millions of people.

"It's a sad event", Sanchez said. Almost 3.8 million power customers in the state still lacked service early Wednesday as the mammoth effort to restore electricity in the often hot and humid region continues.

Approximately 110,000 people remain in shelters across Florida.

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