(Updated Dec. 17, 12:10 pm)
Prompt evacuation saves lives
in Dec. 17 nursing home fire
By MICAH HENRY
One nursing home resident and one police officer needed medical care after a fire broke out in a local nursing home early Wednesday, December 17.
According to Alexander County Assistant Fire Marshal Mark Earle, the fire was reported about 3:30 a.m. at New Outlook of Taylorsville. The nursing home is located on Wood Road off Three Forks Church Road. Personnel responded to the scene from Taylorsville, Ellendale, and Sugar Loaf fire departments, Alexander County EMS, Taylorsvile Police Department, and the Alexander County Sheriff’s Office.
There were 27 residents who were evacuated from the facility and placed outdoors until the scene was clear. In order to evacuate residents, Taylorsville Police First Sgt. Kevin Elder had to break glass. Elder’s hand was cut and had to receive stitches, according to Earle and Police Captain Douglas Bowman.
One resident, a woman, was transported by Alexander County EMS to Catawba Regional Medical Center for treatment.
“Deputies and the Taylorsville Police officers responded quickly and were able to get the residents out of the building. At the point in time when officers arrived on the scene, there were no caretakers there,” said Sheriff Chris Bowman.
The Sheriff said he was told two caretakers were on duty last night. He was informed that one had left the facility to go to a store. Officers later found out that the other caretaker there had left as officers arrived. The man later returned to the scene. Bowman said the man had an outstanding warrant and was arrested Wednesday, Dec. 17, for failure to appear in court on an earlier charge, Sheriff Bowman related.
Brandon Shane Parsons, age 28 of Taylorsville, was arrested on one count of failure to appear, the Sheriff said.
The Sheriff said he was told by Russell Greene, Alexander County Fire Marshal, that if the officers had not arrived with their quick response, it could have been a lot worse. “I feel, along with Fire Marshal Greene, that they saved a lot of lives.”
Earle said damage was confined to a mattress and personal belongings of one resident.
The Sheriff’s Office is assisting the Fire Marshal’s Office in the investigation.