Fire Engineering: State Says Seniors Were Abandoned During California Wildfire

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A report found that two senior living facilities, both managed by Oakmont Management Group, failed to evacuate seniors during a wildfire last October.

One of the two facilities burned to the ground. More than twenty seniors would have died if family members and emergency responders didn’t come to their aid after the staff abandoned them.

A snippet from the Fire Engineering story:

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Staff at two senior care centers abandoned residents during an evacuation as wildfires swept through Northern California last October, state officials said Thursday as they moved to revoke licenses from the Santa Rosa facilities and their top administrators. Nobody in either facility died.

A Department of Social Services complaint says more than 20 people would have died when a dementia facility burned to the ground if family members and emergency responders hadn't evacuated them after all staff left. The investigation says night staff members at Villa Capri were not trained in emergency procedures and had never practiced a fire drill. They could not find keys to a bus that could have sped evacuations.

At least three residents were never evacuated from another facility, Varenna, and workers who found them the next morning lied about it, the investigation found.

Both care centers are managed by Oakmont Management Group. Executives did not respond to requests for comment, but the firm created a website to defend its actions earlier this year. It says employees did not abandon residents and praises their efforts to get people out.

Read the full story, “State Says Seniors Were Abandoned During CA Wildfires” here.

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