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22 people treated at hospital after nursing home fire

11:38 PM, Jul 19, 2013   |    comments
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(WBIR - Crossville) Twenty-two people, including 13 nursing home residents, were taken to the hospital after a fire on Friday, according to Chief Mike Turner of the Crossville Fire Department.

As of Friday night, all but two patients had been treated and released from Cumberland Medical Center.

The fire started in a patient's room at Wynd Ridge Health and Rehab Center in Crossville around 5 p.m.

Turner said a nurse saw smoke coming from a patient's room and pulled the fire alarm.  The patient was not in the room at the time.

The fire department put the flames out quickly and were able to contain the fire and smoke to one wing of the building.

Ambulances transported thirteen of the nursing home's 133 residents to the hospital.  Turner said they turned the power off which put those patients on ventilators in jeopardy. 

None of the patients were burned.  But while helping to evacuate them, seven employees and two firefighters suffered heat exhaustion and/ or smoke inhalation and went to the hospital.  They have all been treated and released.

One resident was visiting a patient when the fire broke out.

"Smoke was just pouring out. We had to duck down to be able to breathe properly," said Chase Ray.

The patient he was visiting was on a ventilator.  They covered his mouth with a cloth to keep him from inhaling the smoke.

"During it I was focused on staying calm, but afterwards, it hit me," Ray said.  "It was definitely scary."

Chief Turner said the fire was accidental and started in the wall with an air conditioning unit.

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