Fast Acting Staff Saved Residents In South Boston Nursing Home F - - ABC13

Fast Acting Staff Saved Residents In South Boston Nursing Home Fire


Danville, VA - Workers are repairing the damage to Room 315 at The Woodview already.

A fire that started inside the room just after 2:40 a.m. Saturday morning turned the quiet halls into chaos.

"Upon seeing the smoke, the staff responded with the fire plans that we have in place, " said Olivia Epps, manager of pr and marketing for Halifax Regional Medical Center (which operates The Woodview).

Staff members quickly removed two residents from that room, despite visible flames showing from a closet.

By the time fire crews arrived, employees were already moving at least 60 other people out of harms way.

The South Boston Fire Chief, Steve Phillips, says their fast action saved those residents lives.

"Just a tremendous effort in making sure all the residents were removed from the area to a safe area," said Phillips.

A sprinkler system helped with some of the flames, but firefighters stayed on the scene for two hours to help the staff check on the patients.

"A nursing home is always a scary fire because you know you've got all these people in there that you're going to have to evacuate yourself. It's a pretty scary situation, " said Phillips.

After last week's deadly nursing home fire in Canada which left 10 dead and 22 missing, all involved say they are glad they didn't face a similar tragedy.

"We could've had a very different outcome, but we're very very pleased that all of our residents were safe and sound," Epps said. 

None of the residents had to be transported to the hospital. Initial findings show the fire may have been caused by smoking materials being hidden in a closet against regulations.


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