A massive fire engulfed the Evergreen Home for Adults, an assisted living facility located in Spring Valley, New York. The nursing home is located about 30 miles north of New York City. Firefighters were dispatched to the skilled nursing care facility at about 1:00 a.m. on March 23, 2021.
Firefighters were quick to the scene. Nonetheless, by the time of their arrival, massive flames were described as already tearing through the building. The New York nursing care facility was home to approximately 120 residents at the time of the fire. There remains some confusion about how many residents were at the center at the time of the deadly blaze. Some residents were at area hospitals for unrelated health issues prior to the fire.
Approximately 20 residents were admitted to hospitals with injuries sustained by the Evergreen Home for Adults fire. A good number of the residents taken to medical centers are described as having serious injuries. One resident was declared dead upon arrival at a hospital.
One firefighter remains missing as of the day following the catastrophic blaze. Fire department officials report that the man went to the top floor of the facility as part of a coordinated effort to ensure that all residents were evacuated from the building. The firefighter is thought to have become lost either on his way to or when actually on the third floor of the building. The dire conditions within the building evidently resulted in the firefighter losing his way while attempting to ensure that all residents and employees of the nursing home had been evacuated.
The firefighter in question was not seen after departing his crew for the third floor of the building. A search remains underway for the missing firefighter. As more time passes, officials have said the likelihood of finding the firefighter alive dims.
The names of the deceased resident, injured residents, and missing firefighter have not been released to the media or public. Officials indicate that this information will be made available once all families have been contacted about the status of their loved ones.
Governor Andrew Cuomo interceded directly after the blaze was brought under control. He deployed the Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to assist local officials in Spring Valley in the investigation of the devastating fire. New York State Police have also been dispatched to the scene to assist in the collection of evidence regarding the cause of the fire. As of the day following the fire, no information has been released on the suspected cause of the New York nursing home fire. No time frame for the completion of the investigation is yet established.
The New York Governor also directed the New York Department of Health to make immediate arrangements to transfer for more than 100 residents of the Evergreen Home for Adults to other suitable facilities.
The Governor issued a statement about the tragic event, which includes in part:
“On behalf of the family of New York, my heart breaks for those who lost loved ones in the fire, and we pray that anyone else involved is safe. The State will continue providing whatever support is needed to ensure that happens.”
If you’ve lost a family member in a nursing home fire or catastrophic event at some other facility, a Doan Law Firm wrongful death lawyer is available to answer any questions. Similarly, if you or a loved one have been injured in some type of fire or other incident at a congregate facility of some type, a personal injury lawyer is also available to explain your legal rights in the aftermath of such a tragedy.
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