HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Hollywood police have opened a criminal investigation into the deaths of six people at a nursing home that lost power when Hurricane Irma moved through.
The six people who died were patients at the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills. The deceased patients have not been identified.
Other patients are in critical condition. The exact number has not been released.
Emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from the facility at 4 a.m. on Wednesday, according to a Hollywood Police Department spokesperson.
Police responded and decided to evacuate.
“Once we determined we had multiple deaths… we made the decision to evacuate,” said Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez.
“A number of people were in respiratory and other distresses,” said Sanchez.
The entire facility -which has two wings- was evacuated.
A total of 133 patients were evacuated, 118 were medical patients at the Rehabilitation Center and 18 were patients at the center’s behavioral wing.
Patients were evacuated to Memorial Regional Hospital and other facilities in the Memorial Healthcare System.
“Evacuating 133 people is quite an undertaking,” said a police department spokesperson.
The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills is not part of the Memorial Healthcare System.
Relatives of Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills patients are asked to not go to the hospital to check on their loved ones, instead they should call (954) 265-1074 to check on them.
Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief told NBC Miami that three people died at the facility and the other two died as the patients arrived at the hospital.
The building has been without power since Hurricane Irma struck.
Police have sealed the Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills as part of their investigation.
As a precaution, police are also visiting 42 other facilities in the city to make sure patients are okay.