Five dead at Hollywood nursing home where Hurricane Irma knocked out air conditioning

Five people died in a Hollywood nursing home that had no air conditioning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power.

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said Wednesday that the five people died as a result of loss of air conditioning due to Hurricane Irma. Hollywood police will only confirm one death at this time.

Timothy Keefe, deputy chief of Broward County Fire-Rescue, said his agency is assisting Hollywood agencies in evacuating the entire facility.

He said approximately 100 people were being evacuated. He termed it a “multi-casualty incident.”

Sharief and Keefe had few details. They learned of the incident just before Sharief’s morning news briefing at the Broward Emergency Operations Center.

The situation was developing, and worsening, as Sharief was at the lectern briefing reporters about the recovery from Hurricane Irma. As she entered the briefing shortly after 9 a.m., she was told there were two deaths. She was pulled aside during the briefing and then reported a total of five deaths.

Three people died at the facility. Two were declared dead at the hospital, Sharief said.

County staffers said later it was at Larkin Behavioral Institute in Hollywood Hills. The problems stemmed from extreme temperatures at the facility.

Additional patients are being taken to an area hospital, but officials at the county Emergency Operations Center said they didn’t know where they were going.

Sharief said she’s been concerned about the lack of power to facilities that are home to the elderly and others particularly vulnerable to the heat.

The mayor said that she and County Administrator Bertha Henry pressed Florida Power & Light Co. on Tuesday to expedite power restoration to such facilities.

County Commissioner Beam Furr, whose district includes Hollywood, was at the Emergency Operations Center on Wednesday. He was planning to go to the scene. Furr, whose district also includes Century Village in Pembroke Pines, said the situation is critical at places where older residents are effectively trapped because the lack of power means elevators don’t work.

An aide said later Sharief was also planning to visit the facility.

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