U.S. Fire Administration/Technical Report Series: Twelve-Fatality Nursing Home Fire, Norfolk, Virginia [open pdf - 2MB]
"On October 5, 1989, at 2218 hours, a fire in Norfolk, Virginia, was reported from the Hillhaven Rehabilitation and Convalescent Home, 1005 Hampton Boulevard. This was a 4-story masonry building, housing 161 elderly patients, most of whom were bedridden. First arriving firefighting units discovered fire coming out of the window of a second floor patient room located on the front of the building. The fire was lapping up to the third floor window. The second floor was completely filled with heavy smoke, and some flame at the ceiling level was observed. No alarms were heard and there was no apparent commotion. Second and third alarms were sounded immediately to assist in rescue efforts. Some patients were removed from their rooms by the use of ground ladders set up on the outside. Bedridden patients, trapped in their rooms, had to be carried by firefighters through heavy smoke and heat conditions. Rescue efforts on the second floor required approximately 35 minutes."
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