Florida nursing home where six deaths occurred had repeat safety violations

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The Rehabilitation Center never lost power - but a transformer that drove its air conditioning unit was knocked out, the facility's administrator said Wednesday.

Earlier this week, a risky scene played out inside an assisted care facility for patients with dementia and memory impairment in Cape Coral, Florida, on the state's Gulf Coast.

The six people who died were patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills.

Tuesday's low temperature in Hollywood, according to the National Weather Service, was 79 degrees.

Gov. Rick Scott declared in a statement, "I'm going to aggressively demand answers on how this tragic event took place. Although the details of these reported deaths are still under investigation, this situation is unfathomable", Scott said.

The facility reported yesterday that its fans and spot coolers were in working order, and that it had power, according to the statement.

Florida Power and Light says it will restore power in the eastern part of the state by September 17, but customers in western Florida will have to wait until September 22.

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It battered Florida's lower half, leaving a trail of tornadoes and storm-surge flooding as its core slowly made its way inland. Irma's center was about 105 miles north of Tampa when forecasters announced it had weakened to a tropical storm .

The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills has a health inspection rating of "much below average" by the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration, which evaluates all long-term care facilities in the state for the USA government. Randy Katz, medical director of emergency services. "I tell everybody, if you have family in a nursing home, check on them".

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told NBC Miami that three people died at the facility and the other two died as the patients arrived at the hospital. Memorial Regional Hospital is yards away from the nursing home.

Some 115 vulnerable people were evacuated from the residence in total. Hollywood spokeswoman Raelin Story said there were "a number of critical patients". Victims were suffering from respiratory distress, dehydration and other heat-related injuries. It said the facility had in fact been listed as "non-critical" infrastructure, but only because that was how nursing homes were supposed to be designated under FPL's own guidance.

In July 2015, Larkin Community Hospital issued a news release announcing it had won a bankruptcy auction and was taking over operations of the 152-bed Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, as well as other properties.

Reached by phone on Thursday, Rosemary Cooper, a licensed practical nurse at the rehabilitation center, declined to discuss specifics about the case, citing the investigation.

"Approximately 150 facilities out of the almost 700 (nursing) facilities in the state do not now have full power services restored", continued the FHCA statement. The association added that it is working with state officials to identify homes without power so that utility companies could prioritize those in greatest need.

DCF and AHCA have been directed to work with local authorities.