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A new cellphone video has surfaced showing conditions inside the Hollywood Hills nursing home where residents — including one in the nude — were kept in sweltering heat before eight of them died.
A woman went to check on her parents about 8 p.m. Tuesday at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills and shot a 34-second video of a fan running in their room with a window cracked on the second floor — the hottest level of the facility. They were in bed in the room they share wearing patient gowns.
By then, the main air conditioning system had been down for 53 hours, and within four hours the first of eight residents had died.
Her father, 89-year-old Gabriel Giraldo, has dementia and was found the next morning with a 102-degree fever, dehydrated and unconscious. He was taken to the hospital and remained there Friday. The mother Libia, who also suffers from dementia, was in another nursing facility and doing better.
The camera goes out into the hallway, where a naked woman who appears to be sleeping or unconscious is slouching on a gurney. NBC 6 is working to identify the woman and check on her condition.
There is also a spot cooler, one of eight the state says was brought into the building as temperatures soared.
Workers at the facility said Hurricane Irma caused the air conditioning to fail Sunday and they struggled to keep residents cool with fans, cold towels and ice.
Three residents died in the facility and five more perished at the hospital or on the way. All residents have since been evacuated.
The woman who shot the video sent it to her sister, Carmen Veroy.
“I wasn’t there, because I swear to God if I was there I can call the police and scream,” Veroy told NBC6.
Gov. Rick Scott announced Thursday night that he has directed the Agency for Health Care Administration to terminate the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as a Medicaid provider. The program provides health care for low-income individuals and families.
Police have opened a criminal investigation.
Lawyers for the family of one of the victims are suing the facility, seeking the release of records in hopes of shedding light on what took place Tuesday night and Wednesday morning.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.