Patient Smokes Unsupervised in Bed and Starts Nursing Home Fire

One patient was burned and 23 others were treated for smoke inhalation after a fire erupted on a patient's bed at a nursing home.  A fire investigator stated the blaze started at about 7 pm.  A lighter was found on the bed, prompting the fire investigator to conclude "there was smoking in the bed."  Read more about the fire.

To the nursing home's credit, measures were taken after the fire started to reduce injury to the facility's residents.  For example, staff placed wet towels under patients' doors to prevent smoke inhalation.  Even though the fire was contained to one patient's bed, how was the patient possess a lighter and use it to "light up" a cigarette in the facility?  Why didn't staff respond sooner when the hint of cigarette smoke wafted its way into the hall?  If staff responded so quickly to the scene, how could enough smoke have been created that 23 other patients suffered smoke inhalation injuries?

The nursing home could not have been supervising its patients properly.  Thankfully, no one died in the fire, but they easily could have.  If only the nursing home had exercised an ounce of supervisory prevention . . .   


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