PATASKALA, OH (WCMH) — Dozens of people have been displaced after a fire at a nursing home in Pataskala.
The fire at the Pataskala Care Center was a typical incident fire fighters have dealt with a countless number of times; and this time went almost as well as can be hoped.
Starting in an electrical panel in the kitchen, the electrical fire reached the attic where it quickly spread.
Working fire alarms notified the fire department of the emergency and by the time they arrived, the evacuation of the facility and its 73 residents was already underway.
The staff of the Pataskala Care Center had a fire evacuation plan in place and, with the added benefit of having a full compliment of nearly three dozen staff on hand during the day shift, that plan was executed relatively smoothly.
Only one of the 73 residents was transported to the hospital as a precautionary measure. No injuries were reported.
Fire fighters are confident the end result would have been relatively the same had the fire happened in the middle of the night, and they credit the plan and the staff’s execution of it for their ability to attack the fire sooner.
It took fire fighters 10-15 minutes to get the fire under control, as they needed to cut through the roof of the building to access the attic.
Once the fire was out and the residents accounted for, arraignments were made to move the residents to the Pataskala Church of the Nazarene.
The pastor there visits the Pataskala Care Center and conducts bible studies with some of the residents; he opened his church without a second thought. Soon after that, well over 100 people buzzed about the church as beds and other equipment were delivered from the care facility.
Residents were transported by school buses or by ambulance, with the goal of finding temporary space at other facilities by the end of the day.
It didn’t take long for families of the residents of Pataskala Care Center to start showing up at the church to check on their loved ones.
Luci Jeffrey was impressed by how quickly and smoothly everything went in transitioning everyone to the church. Her husband’s aunt is a resident at the Pataskala Care Center.
“They really seem to have everything under control, the patients aren’t really in any kind of an upset state or anything; so it was a really effective and smooth evacuation,” complimented Jeffrey.
According to fire officials, repairs to the building will have to be made before residents can move back in. The facility had recently gone through an inspection and had already fixed minor issues that were found.
According to a fire fighter spokesperson at the scene, who was also present during the inspection earlier this year, the exact reason for the electrical fire is still under investigation.
The building has been in use for nearly 30 years.