A 92-year-old resident of the University Nursing Home in Silver Spring died yesterday at Holy Cross hospital, where she was taken after suffering smoke inhalation during a Friday morning fire at the home.
Elizabeth Ehrmantraut, a resident of the nursing home since 1975, was pronounced dead at 1:24 p.m., hospital officials said. The cause of death was not immediately determined. Ehrmantraut had had a serious heart condition before the fire.
The fire, which hospitalized 26 employes and residents of the nursing home and caused between $45,000 and $100,000 worth of damage, was deliberately set, Montgomery County fire investigators confirmed yesterday.
Later in the day, fire officials reported that the blaze started in "a disgruntled patient's room."
Members of the fire marshal's office will meet with county homicide detectives today to discuss whether to bring charges to murder and arson, against anyone in connection with the blaze, according to sources.
Fourteen patients are still hospitalized, three of them in serious condition, as a result of the fire that swept through a second-floor corridor of the two-story nursing home shortly after 8:30 a.m. Fewer than 20 of the home's 139 residents lived in the corridor.
Officials said a nearly perfect evacuation and the home's compliance with the fire code were responsible for averting a major catastrophe.