"We are. not ruling anything out at this time", Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez said of the investigation. After the second call, fire officials called the state Department of Children and Families to report concerns about the facility.
Early Wednesday morning, after responding to three calls about patients there in distress, firefighters went through the facility and found three people dead and evacuated more than 150 patients to hospitals, many on stretchers or in wheelchairs, authorities said. The mayor has sent out an alert to other areas in Florida to conduct a welfare check on all elderly residents because of the heat.
There are now no patients at the center. But it also is contradicted by law enforcement and state officials on key points, including how aggressively the nursing home had sought assistance and precisely when staffers called 911 as a patient went into cardiac arrest. Harrison on the Florida Health Innovation subcommittee which oversees legislation governing Florida nursing homes. "While our center did not lose power during the storm, it did lose one transformer that powers the air conditioning unit". He also said investigators will look into how many windows were open.
Randy Katz, medical director of emergency services at the nearby Memorial Regional Hospital, said that when hospital officials heard about the situation, "we mobilized at least 50 to 100 of our employees that left the hospital, ran down the street, pulled all of these patients out of the facility and made sure they got to a safe place". "Generally, we are treating dehydration, heat exhaustion and severe respiratory conditions, and we do have some critical patients".
A warrant has been signed to begin searching the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, which is affiliated with Larkin Community Hospital, and a criminal investigation is underway. That person was taken to a funeral home.
At least 34 storm-related deaths have been reported on the U.S. mainland, according to local officials.
Police say rescue crews were called to the nursing home just after 4:00 a.m. Wednesday morning.
The center had a generator on standby "in compliance with state regulations", as well as seven days of food, water, ice and other supplies, including gas for the generator, Carballo added.
Video from above the scene shows the buildings residents sitting on wheelchairs outside the nursing home. Three others died in hospital. In 2006, the U.S. Justice Department fined Larkin and its owners $15.4 million in a settlement of a civil fraud complaint.
Efforts to prevent such disasters in nursing facilities have improved in recent years, public health experts said, and that new federal regulations require facilities to have sufficient backup power to maintain reasonable temperatures.
"You want to come back to power", he said.
"To think of the incredible power of that storm - and while people unfortunately passed, it was such a small number", Trump told reporters in Fort Myers.