A home for the elderly in Calvert County has been closed by Maryland health officials following a fire there on June 29 that caused the deaths of two elderly residents.
The Huntington Haven Nursing Home, a residential home for elderly people, was found to have several safety violations that may have slowed the rescue of the residents from the burning building. Fire Marshal James Robertson said at the time of the fire.
Officials said beds were blocking exits and screen doors swung inward instead of outward. The home had seven residents, even though it was licensed for sex, and one of those residents was found strapped to a bed, according to Mamie Dailey, the state's assistant chief of the division of licensing and certification.
"That indicates to us that residents may have required more care than the home was licensed to give," Dailey said.
The fire, which is still being investigated, was caused by an electric fan that overheated.
Charlotte Crooms, who jointly owns the home with her husband, said that she is uncertain whether or not she will appeal the board's decision." We were inspected four or five times and we never got below a 97 out of 100 rating," Mrs. Crooms claimed.
She denied that the home had violated any safety requirements and said that the strapped down patient was not a resident of the home. He was staying with the Crooms by special agreement between his children and the Crooms.
The home, which opened a year ago, passed health inspections in March and April of this year, according to Gene Heisler, a nursing home coordinator for the health department. Robertson said that the home had met safety requirements at the time that it opened.