Smoking causes fire that kills one at Tucker nursing home - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Smoking causes fire that kills one at Tucker nursing home

Firefighters responded to the Meadowbrook Nursing Home in Tucker. Firefighters responded to the Meadowbrook Nursing Home in Tucker.
Paramedics took a nursing home resident to a hospital to be treated for a minor injury. Paramedics took a nursing home resident to a hospital to be treated for a minor injury.
Second-floor residents were briefly evacuated because of smoke. Second-floor residents were briefly evacuated because of smoke.
Firefighters and staff members helped evacuated residents return to the undamaged first floor. Firefighters and staff members helped evacuated residents return to the undamaged first floor.
TUCKER, GA (CBS46) -

A fire killed a woman in her room at a nursing home in Tucker early Tuesday.

According to the DeKalb County Medical Examiner's Office, the deceased has been identified as Laura Barrett, 64.  Barrett was a resident of the Meadowbrook Nursing Home on Lawrenceville Highway.

DeKalb County Fire Chief Edward O'Brien said the fire was caused by Barrett smoking while using oxygen.

Firefighters responded to the facility at about 3 a.m. The facility's sprinkler system had already extinguished the bulk of the flames, which were contained to Barrett's room.

Because of the smoke and water from the sprinklers, firefighters evacuated 75 people from the second floor, firefighters said.

"In an evacuation plan in a nursing home, the initial thought is to get them out," said Chief Edward O'Brien. "Once we got here, got enough staff of ours on scene, they evaluated and felt that the first floor was safe, so we moved all the people to the first floor."

Two people were transported to hospitals with minor injuries.

Robert Ballard rushed to the nursing home when he heard about the fire. He was relieved that his brother, a resident at the facility, was unhurt.

"He's been through a lot in his life," said Ballard. "Anytime you have a loved one of your family to be placed in a home, it totes enough drama by itself. And then something of this nature happens, it just adds to it."

Ballard said he was pleased with how the staff has handled the crisis.

Copyright 2013 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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