Deaths reported in hot Florida nursing home after Hurricane Irma

A women exits a store that doesn't have power two days after Hurricane Irma passed through the area

Almost a week after Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida and barreled through the state, over 1.6 million customers still have no power in the sweltering September heat.

In a letter to Scott Thursday, two state senators and one representative from Broward requested that the governor direct the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to take over the criminal investigation.

It seems that things initially went downhill when the nursing home's air conditioner was crushed by a tree. Of the eight patient deaths, seven occurred Wednesday. Detectives were at the nursing home Wednesday continuing the investigation. The widow evacuated her Naples condominium with the help of police the day before the hurricane.

"I am going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place", he said a statement.

Defede said officials at the nursing home said when they called Scott's emergency number, it went to a voice mail. Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez immediately called it a "criminal" probe. "The temperatures, particularly on the second floor, were extremely hot". Low temperatures were in the upper 70s.

The facility reported Tuesday that its fans and spot coolers were in working order, and that it had power, according to the statement. "Can't give you anything more specific than that at this point". Defede said that Scott had an emergency call with health care officials the prior week and had told them to call this phone number if they had any trouble weathering the storm.

"There are numerous bridges of support that have to be inspected before we can put commodities down the roadway to support citizens", Brock told CNN. "Unfortunately, emergency services were called obviously too late".

But the nursing home pushed back, writing, "No residents were nor could be identified as being affected by this citation since the generator is performing flawlessly since it was rebuilt". He declined to say whether the electricity was entirely out at the facility or if only the air conditioning was out.

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MARTIN: But it does seem like every time there's a natural disaster, there are these stories of people passing away in nursing homes.

"The recovery without air conditioning is the hardest part", said Joe Wallen.

It is treating 115 patients at various hospitals, mainly for dehydration, respiratory issues including respiratory failure, heat exhaustion and high fevers. Randy Katz of Memorial Regional Hospital, where several nursing home residents were sent for treatment.

At a later news conference, Sanchez said one of those facilities was evacuated because of the heat.

Family members of the patients can call (954) 265-1074 to check on the status of their loved ones.

The Florida Health Care Association depicted those unfortunate deaths as a "profound tragedy within the larger tragedy of Hurricane Irma". So during Hurricane Katrina, about half the people who died were 75 and older.

At least a quarter of the homes in the Keys were destroyed, according to federal emergency management officials, and 65 percent suffered some damage.

But administration officials at the facility in Hollywood Hills, 20 miles north of Miami, have pushed back against claims that they did not take proper steps to ensure their residents' safety. In addition, there are more than 3,100 assisted living facilities with over 99,000 beds.

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