Fire Forces Assisted Living Facility Residents to Evacuate but No One is Harmed

A fire broke out yesterday consuming one of many buildings at an assisted living center. All available fire crews responded to the scene, but it took them nearly an hour to get the fire under control. Firefighters say the good news is: everyone got out safely. Unfortunately, they may not be able to return for a while.

Flames tore open the roof of the senior living center. The fire was so massive, it caught the attention of dozens of nearby neighbors who offered their help. Crews say about 20 occupants had to be rushed out of the burning building, and dozens more from the neighboring buildings. One resident said, "I just worried about getting out. I didn't take anything, I just got myself out."

Currently it is believed that the fire started with a cigarette butt that was tossed on some bark and mulch. The flames quickly spread to some trees, then a fence that is now burnt to the ground. From there the building caught fire, rooting itself in the top of the building making it difficult to access. The building is now heavily damaged.

The Fire Chief said, "A couple of these able-body bystanders were pretty helpful and they were able to corral people and move them back and lot of them were able to moving around in chairs with assisted walkers, that sort of thing." He feels that all the help could easily be the reason no one was hurt. The residents who called that building home are staying the night in one of the center's other buildings. Meanwhile, investigators say the fire caused at least $400,000 in damage. For more, read the story.

Robert W. Carter, Jr. is a Virginia attorney whose law practice is dedicated to protecting the rights of the victims of nursing home and assisted living neglect and abuse in Richmond, Roanoke, Norfolk, Lynchburg, Danville, Charlottesville, and across Virginia.

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