12th Hollywood Hills Nursing Home Resident Dies


Authorities in Florida are now attributing a dozen deaths to power problems at a nursing home during Hurricane Irma.

Hollywood police are treating all 12 deaths from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as part of a criminal investigation, spokeswoman Miranda Grossman said in a statement.

Dolores Biamonte, 57, died Thursday night, bringing the death toll from the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills to a dozen since its cooling system failed and several residents perished in the rising heat September 13.

The warrant, filed at the Broward Clerk of Court's Office Wednesday, includes photographs, video surveillance and recording devices, building maintenance records, air and electrical testing, along with personnel records and logs for employees on duty between September 10th through September 13, 2017. A week earlier, it stopped the facility from admitting new patients.

Fans were set up and windows were opened to try to let air in. Some patients' temperatures reportedly climbed to almost 110 degrees.

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The eight people who died on September 13, three days after the storm, were: Albertina Vega, 99; Carolyn Eatherly, 78; Manuel Mario Mendieta, 96; Gail Nova, 70; Bobby Owens, 84; Miguel Antonio Franco, 92; Estella Hendricks, 71; and Betty Hibbard, 84.

The nursing home called 911 three days later, when their patients began experiencing cardiac arrest and respiratory failure, the Miami Herald reported.

Warning that Irma would be worse than Hurricane Andrew - which killed 65 people in 1992 - Florida's governor, Rick Scott, had said all of the state's 20.6 million inhabitants should be prepared to evacuate. Further, their researchers ranked the facility with a 1.8 out of 5 stars for senior care, citing a history of numerous complaints and violations, well over the state and national averages.

CBS Miami reached out to the son of one of the victims, asking him about the fact that police are investigating the resident's deaths as homicides.