A Fountaingrove senior care home had no backup generator the night an October fire raced into Santa Rosa and cut off electricity to the complex, leaving dozens of infirm residents to evacuate in darkness without an elevator before it burned to the ground, according to an attorney suing the company, according to The Press Democrat.
Oakmont Senior Living, which operated Villa Capri, revealed the absence of a generator in pretrial discovery responses, said San Francisco attorney Kathryn Stebner, who represents 17 residents and family members accusing the company and its affiliates of negligence and abandonment of residents that night.
Oakmont officials also conceded Villa Capri residents didn’t participate in fire drills conducted by the facility’s staff, Stebner said.
“Without a generator or real drills, how were residents with wheelchairs and walkers supposed to safely get off the second floor in an emergency? This situation both shocks me and makes me sad to think of what these residents went through,” Stebner said.
Company officials and an attorney didn’t respond to multiple requests for comment last week.
The revelations emerged this month as two Sonoma County judges ruled against motions by Windsor-based Oakmont Senior Living, which was seeking to add PG&E to the case and postpone residents’ attorneys from interviewing top company officials, according to court documents.
The lawsuit alleges Villa Capri staff abandoned at least a third of the roughly 70 residents, including some who were bedridden and living with dementia, in the earliest hours of wildfires that erupted late Oct. 8 and that the company failed to take adequate measures in advance to prepare for a disaster.
Read the full story at The Press Democrat.