Police confirmed that a tenth person who was inside a South Florida nursing home that had to be evacuated following a power outage cause by Hurricane Irma has died.
Ninety-four-year-old Martha Murray died Wednesday at a local hospital, Hollywood police said in a statement. The mother of three is the seventh person who died after being taken out of the facility on Sept. 13; officials found three patients already dead at The Rehabilitation Center of Hollywood Hills earlier that day from heat related symptoms.
Murray's son said she lived at the nursing home for a few days before the outage. He took care of his mother at home with nurses before she was taken to the facility.
Another family announced Thursday its filing a lawsuit against the nursing home. Ninety-four-year-old Rosa Cabrera is a diabetic and double amputee who lived at the facility. She survived the outage, but her family wants to take legal action.
"I hope the owner of this facility is never allowed to any other nursing facility or any health care facility in the state," Cabrera's family attorney said.
The latest death comes as officials continue their investigation into what took place inside the facility, located across the street from Memorial Hospital. Florida Gov. Rick Scott released a report saying that the facility never reported that "patients were in dangerous conditions" or needed to be evacuated.
The nursing home reported it lost power and air conditioning when the storm struck on Sept. 10, calling an emergency hotline the next day. The facility continued to be in contact with the state, according to the report, but never mentioned the severity of patients' conditions.
A state health department report released Wednesday showed that the body temperatures of some of those who died reached between 107 and nearly 110 degrees.
"He was fine and the facility reassured you that they were going to be safe during the hurricane," said Erika Navarro, the granddaughter of another victim, 93-year-old Miguel Franco.
"We could've had him in our home over the weekend. My parents were fine during the hurricane and we kept them there because that's what they reassured us and they killed him," Navarro said.
A criminal investigation continues while the nursing home — which has had its license suspended — has filed a lawsuit to be allowed to reopen, saying it used items like coolers, fans, ice and other methods to keep patients comfortable.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement set up a new hotline for anyone with information about the deaths or the nursing home between the dates of Sept. 9 to Sept. 12. The number is 866-452-3461.