Eight die in Florida aged home after Irma

Widespread destruction in the Florida Keys

As additional patients were found in distress, police and doctors from Memorial Hospital finally made a decision to evacuate the entire nursing home at about 6am, according to accounts from Katz and Hollywood Police Chief Tomas Sanchez.

He said crews evacuated 115 patients from the centre and are in the process of evacuating another 18 patients from a nearby behavioural facility next door.

Raelin Story, a Broward County spokesperson, said fire rescue operatives arrived at the home to find the facilities sweltering hot, leaving numerous elderly patients unable to breathe.

The overall death toll from Irma climbed to 81 on Wednesday, with several hard-hit Caribbean islands accounting for more than half the fatalities as officials continue to assess the damage inflicted by the second major hurricane to strike the U.S. mainland this year.

"We're looking into the temperatures inside the facility, the staffing inside the facility and the condition leading up to these incidents", said Storey who also confirmed that police had received a warrant to search inside the facility.

Florida residents who evacuated ahead of the storm faced lengthy traffic jams, meanwhile, as they returned to check out their homes after days in shelters or with friends or family.

The causes of their deaths are yet to be determined, but indications are that they were related to the loss of air conditioning during the storm and in the days after.

The criminal investigation has begun by the Hollywood police, on the deaths happened in the Hollywood Hills' Rehabilitation Center, 1200 N. 35th Ave.

On his visit to Anguilla, Boris Johnson, the Foreign Secretary, said: "There are things we are going to have to do in the long term to make this island more economically self-sufficient and even more resilient, and we will certainly be thinking about that".

Three of the victims were found dead at the center. He added: "As of Tuesday, [the facility] was reporting that everything was OK, that it was using portable air conditioners and fans". That includes eight people who died in Monroe County, which includes the Keys, because of and/or during Hurricane Irma, county spokeswoman Cammy Clark said. County officials said calls for help started coming in beginning at 4 a.m., and that most came from within the facility itself.

In addition, at least five people died and more than a dozen were treated after breathing carbon monoxide fumes from generators in the Orlando, Miami and Daytona Beach areas.

On Thursday, detectives were at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills after receiving a search warrant to investigate the eight patients' deaths, which police believed were heat-related. Police used city trolleys to transport residents of Krystal Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center to another facility, a spokesman said.

Popular with retirees, Florida is home to more than 680 nursing homes, which house about 73,000 residents, according to the Florida Health Care Association. Some homes and businesses could be without power for weeks, especially in the hardest-hit areas like southwest Florida, the NextEra Energy Inc unit said.

The facility is not the only Florida nursing home that has been left without power by Irma.

Was the center's backup generator capable of powering the air conditioning system?

While the numbers in Florida were declining slightly, more outages were being reported in Georgia and other states as Irma, now a tropical storm, moved north. "It should be- we know this is coming and it's a week away and you need to be moving these people out", he said.

Related news: