Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Four residents die in fire at NY group home

Wells, New York - Two men and two women living at a state-run group home for people with developmental disabilities in the Adirondacks were killed when a fire broke out early on Saturday morning.

According to wcbstv.com they are: 52-year-old Anthony Vitti, 60-year-old Theresa Williams, 43-year-old Gloria Bonilla, and 32-year-old Corey Desotelle.

A fifth resident, 71-year-old Blaine Edwardswas injured in the blaze and is recovering in a hospital in Utica. Two staff members were also injured as they tried to evacuate the Riverview group home in Wells (about 56 miles northwest of Albany, New York, in Hamilton County).

According to this report by the Associated Press yesterday (Monday March 23), the New York Civil Liberties Union has called for the state attorney general to investigate whether there was adequate staffing at the group home and whether proper safeguards were in place to protect residents in case of a fire. The group said that officials had said the blaze appeared to have started as an electrical fire and had knocked out the home’s sprinkler system. The New York State Police is also investigating.

See also Desperate scramble, deadly result