A total of 37 residents were evacuated from a Lichfield nursing home along with 8 members of staff following a fire.
The fire broke at in the laundry room at Beatrice Court nursing home on St John Street at 12:20pm on Friday, 20th May.
Fire crews from Lichfield, Tamworth and Barton were sent to the scene where it was not clear if everyone had been evacuated. Firefighters wearing breathing aparatus were sent in to extinguish the fire using a hose reel jet and to ensure all persons were accounted for.
Lichfield Assistant Area Commander at Satffordshire Fire and Rescue, Paul Cullen said:
“The fire started in the laundry room which of course had a lot of combustible materials inside. One of the nurses raised the alarm after smoke detectors operated and a full evacuation procedure was put into place.
“The laundry room has been left severely damaged by the fire and the entire building is smoke logged throughout. The residents will be unable to go back into the building for the time being and so have had to be re-housed elsewhere temporarily.
“All of the residents were safely evacuated by the nursing home staff and no residents have been injured however two members of staff have been taken to hospital. A fire investigation is underway to establish the cause of the fire.”
Also in attendance were West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Hazardous Area Response Team, three ambulance crews, three senior paramedic officers, and a BASICS Emergency Doctor.
Staff and 51 residents were all immediately assessed. Two members of nursing home staff were suffering from smoke inhalation and were taken to Queen’s hospital in Burton for further assessment and treatment.
Ambulance service staff along with staff from Lichfield District Council, Staffordshire County Council’s Social Care and Health team and Restful Homes Group (owners of Beatrice Court) then helped to move all residents and the remaining staff across the road to the nearby council chambers where they were assessed. No residents required treatment but one member of nursing home staff later collapsed there and was taken to Good Hope hospital.
Once assessed, 26 residents were transferred to Alma Court Nursing and Residential Home near Cannock by Lichfield District Community Transport and the county’s Social Care and Health team with the remaining residents returned to Beatrice Court.
Families of the residents are now being contacted and any relatives wishing to enquire can call telephone Alma Court Nursing and Residential Home on 01543 273860 and Beatrice Court Nursing Home on 01543 418341.
Josh Cawley, Operations Director for Restful Homes Group, said:
“We immediately implemented our emergency action plan. We’re grateful to everyone who has helped in this emergency – from our nursing home staff, to the emergency services, Lichfield District Council and Staffordshire County Council’s Social Care and Health.”
Nina Dawes, Chief Executive of Lichfield District Council, said:
“The district council coordinated the evacuation and transportation of the residents. Many of our staff joined with the nursing home team, Social Care and Health staff and paramedics to take care of the residents, to make sure they were well looked after and transported comfortably.”
County Councillor Matthew Ellis, Cabinet Member for Adult Wellbeing, expressed his gratitude to all involved,
“I want to pay tribute to, and thank, the County Council’s Social Care teams, Lichfield District Council, the emergency services and everyone involved for the swift and highly professional response to this incident.
“Thankfully everyone is safe and the contingencies in place for emergencies like this worked as expected.”
The fire service is investigating the cause of the fire.