Leadership

TRAGEDY STRIKES COLORADO NURSING HOME

Issue 6 and Volume 144.

TRAGEDY STRIKES COLORADO NURSING HOME Photos courtesy of Colorado Springs Fire Department. On Monday, March 4, 1991, an early-morning fire at Crystal Springs Estate, an “intermediate care” boarding home, claimed the lives of nine residents. The painful lessons learned and reinforced from this tragic incident were numerous. What follows is a frank description of the incident and its problems. We hope that other departments will benefit from our experience. THE FACILITY Crystal Springs Estate provided meals, lodging, entertainment, and limited medical assistance to 25 residents ranging from 72 to 97 years of age. Many residents required walkers and wheelchairs to move about. At the time of the fire, 2.5 residents and one staff member were asleep in their rooms. One resident and the director of the facility were awake. Another resident had been admitted to a local hospital and was due to return the following day. The fire building, built…

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