4 residents presumed dead after Pennsylvania CCRC fire as Idaho operator recovers from a blaze
Safe Haven Care Center in Pocatello, ID, before the fire. (Safe Haven)
Nov. 22 update: The bodies of the four missing residents were found today and yesterday. Their names have not been released, although they have been identified as an 85-year-old woman, a 93-year-old woman, and a married couple with an 89-year-old wife and a 92-year-old husband.
Nov. 28 update: The Chester County Coroner's Office has identified the four deceased residents as Mildred Gadde, 93; Theresa Malloy, 85; and Delores Parker, 89, and her husband, Thomas Parker, 92.
Four residents of a Pennsylvania continuing care retirement community remained missing Monday and were presumed dead after a five-alarm fire at the community that began Thursday. Across the country in Idaho, another senior living operator was dealing with the aftermath of a weekend fire that completely destroyed one of its communities.
The unaccounted-for residents of Barclay Friends in West Chester, PA, include a couple and two single residents, according to the Kendal Corp. CCRC, which said in a post on its website that it was “deeply saddened.”
“Barclay Friends leadership and staff have met personally with the three families most suffering from this horrific loss,” the statement said. “We will continue to stay in close touch with them and provide as much support as possible as they deal with this unimaginable tragedy.”
Twenty-seven residents were taken to area hospitals for treatment, and many of them have been released, the company said.
The entire community remained inaccessible to residents and their families on Monday. Barclay Friends said that many staff members were caring for residents at the locations to which they had been transferred, and others are helping families. “Additionally, we have made available counseling services to our staff if they need those resources,” the company said.
The company said it will determine in the coming weeks whether to rebuild parts of the community that were “ravaged.”
Idaho community ‘a total loss'
The fire that destroyed Safe Haven Care Center in Pocatello, ID, began early Saturday. All 49 residents were safely evacuated, and staff members were able to safely exit the building. No injuries were reported.
“We are working in partnership with surrounding communities and our other facilities to ensure ongoing care and housing for every one of our Pocatello residents,” Safe Haven Health Care President and CEO Scott Burpee said in a statement. Some evacuated residents were temporarily moved to Safe Haven facilities in Wendell and Bellevue, ID, and the company also is working with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare to ensure that the needs of residents are met.
The Pocatello community formerly was a skilled nursing facility but had been offering assisted living for the past several months, a company spokesman told McKnight's Senior Living. The site also included a psychiatric hospital.
Investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire, which they said appears to have started in the attic. The facility's sprinklers did not activate during the fire, officials told local media.
Safe Haven described the result of the fire as “a total loss,” but the company credited staff members for their response when the fire happened.
“Safe Haven staff undergo extensive training for multiple emergency situations, including fires and facility evacuations, given the unique needs of their residents,” the company said. “The staff working during the fire contacted the Pocatello Fire Department immediately once a fire was suspected.”
Safe Haven has not decided whether to rebuild, nor is it clear how many staff members will be transitioned to other facilities, the spokesman said.