Update (9:13 p.m.) — Over 100 patients were displaced after an early morning fire at a senior living facility in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The spokesperson for Larkin Chase Center confirmed to WDVM that there was an explosion in the utility area of Larkin Chase Center.
Lori Mayer, the spokeswoman for the Larkin Chase Center, sent the following statement to WDVM:
“Early this morning, there was an explosion in the utility area of Larkin Chase Center. While all of our patients, residents, and staff are safe, the center relocated 111 patients and residents to numerous nearby skilled nursing facilities due to the damage and lack of power. We would like to thank the staff who acted so quickly and all the first responders for their assistance. At this time, we are still in the process of assessing the damage to determine how long the building will be closed.”
Mayer also stated: “All patient and resident family contacts in our emergency contact system were notified via an urgent email, and text message at 6:22 a.m. letting them know that all patients and residents were safe. We have also called every emergency contact personally.”
111 people living and being taken care of at the Larkin Chase Senior Living Facility were wheeled out in the middle of the night when the fire broke out. Some people, like Courtney Dubose’s father, who has been living at the facility for about three years, were then moved a second time to a temporary care facility. Through this whole process, she was left in the dark.
Dubose drove into the City of Bowie Gymnasium parking lot in tears but was glad her father was okay. Unfortunately, it would be another 40 minutes before she was told where her father was relocated. As her father’s emergency contact in the Larkin Chase system, she was frustrated and scared that she was never notified of the incident and was told by her aunt, her father’s sister, about what had unfolded.
“I found out, and I really had to look on the news on my own to see what was going on,” Dubose said. “No one called me from Larkin Chase. I actually drove back there, and I saw the damage, and it’s actually on the same wing where his room is.”
One eyewitness says it felt like more than any normal fire. Steven Blake lives near the Larkin Chase Senior Living Facility.
“My house shook, and at that point, I said, ‘that was an explosion,'” Blake said. “So I waited a few minutes. I looked out my back window, and I saw a bunch of fire trucks at the senior building that’s back there. There was a fire and explosion in the kitchen of that senior building.
Veronica Marshall, PIO of Prince George’s County Fire and EMS, confirmed that one person had to be extricated from the building after being trapped under debris.
“There was a wall collapsed in the back end of the building near the kitchen area. Fire investigators came, and they went in and out of the building to try and determine the cause as of now the cause is unknown,” Marshall said. “So that investigation is pending. There were initial reports of an explosion, but that is not confirmed yet as the report is not out yet.”
All 111 patients have been relocated and the last patient was transported from the City of Bowie Gymnasium at around 4 p.m. on Tuesday.
BOWIE, Md. (WDVM) — A fire and possible explosion shook a senior living home in Prince George’s County just after 3:30 on Tuesday morning. Over 100 people were displaced as a result.
One resident told WDVM that he was laying in his bed and felt his house shake shortly before fire crews showed up at Larkin Chase Care and Rehabilitation Center in Bowie.
The Prince George’s County Fire Department said that they found “smoke and a small fire” in the kitchen after arriving at the facility.
If anyone is looking for the status of anyone who may have been impacted by this incident, Bowie set up a line to call at 301-262-6200.
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