Thursday, June 14, 2007

Fire Breaks Out at Upper Keys Convalescent Center, Elder Could Have the Book Trown at Him!


A fire that led to the evacuation of 77 residents of Plantation Key Convalescent Center on Tuesday morning was set by a man attempting suicide, authorities said Wednesday. "An individual that was cared for there attempted to commit suicide and lit himself and the chair he was sitting in on fire," Islamorada Fire Chief William Wagner III said.

The police report identifies nursing home resident James Hartford, 50, as the man who emerged from Room 125, where the fire began about 3 a.m. Tuesday. He had burns on his arms and legs and 80 percent of his clothing had burned off, according to a Monroe County Sheriff's Office report. Hartford was flown by helicopter to the Ryder Trauma Center in Miami, where he remained in the Intensive Care Unit Wednesday afternoon. State Fire Marshal's Office spokesman Lt. Joe Schwartz said the case remained under investigation, but suggested the suspect could be charged with first-degree arson.

"At this point, the person is in hospice in the hospital and we're not sure he'll even survive, but that is an avenue we can take," Schwartz said. Smoke was billowing into the nursing home's first-floor hallway when officers arrived at 3:10 a.m., but the fire remained largely contained in Hartford's room. Scott Becht, chief operating officer of the home's parent company, Tennessee-based Midcare Inc., credited his staff and the building's sprinkler system for preventing a full-scale crisis. "It sounds like everything mechanically worked flawlessly and my staff did an exceptional job handling the emergency," he said. Wagner agreed.

"It could have been horrific if the sprinkler system hadn't worked and the fire had grown more," he said. "It would have caused smoke and heat and overwhelmed the building." Aside from Hartford, no one was injured in the fire. One nursing home resident and one employee suffered minor injuries during the evacuation, reports said. They were treated and released from Mariners Hospital. The nursing home reopened Tuesday morning after firefighters left the scene.


"Joe Schwartz said the case remained under investigation, but suggested the suspect could be charged with first-degree arson."

I find it disturbing that the authorities will charge this man who is obviously troubled and that may not survive the injuries that he suffered injuries over 80% of his body, and we will look to prosecute him instead of seeking help for the man.

Why are we looking to prosecute prosecute victims if you allow the perpetrators of abuse immunity from the harm that their neglect causes and instead look to prosecute the victims.

No comments: