(TNS) — Six Hollywood, Fla., nursing home residents died Wednesday morning in a building left without air conditioning after Irma blasted South Florida, according to Hollywood police chief Tom Sanchez.
Police have begun a criminal investigation of the deaths at The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, 1200 N 35th Ave. Sanchez said precautionary checks would be done on Hollywood’s 42 other nursing homes.
With the assistance of Memorial Healthcare System, Hollywood Police and Fire Rescue evacuated 115 people from the center and Larkin Community Hospital. Another 18 are being evacuated from Larkin’s behavioral health services facility Wednesday. Concerned family members can call 954-265-3000 to check on their relatives.
One resident already was dead when police got a call at 4 a.m.. The National Weather Service’s tracking in Hollywood put the temperature at 80 to 82 degrees overnight with a heat index of 85 to 90 after a Tuesday afternoon high temperature of 90 and a peak heat index of 99. Hollywood Public Affairs Director Raelin Story said there is no official cause of death yet, but a number were having respiratory issues.
Like many places in South Florida, the nursing home has been without power since being blasted by tropical storm winds with hurricane gusts on the edge of Hurricane Irma. Kitchen worker Jean Lindor said the center had power via a generator to cook but no air conditioning.
This breaking bulletin will be updated as more is available.
David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal
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