Transcript for More details emerge about 8 deaths at Florida nursing home
In the meantime tonight, we turn next to that new and horrific description of what really played out inside that nursing home, where several residents died, days after hurricane Irma. No power, using backup generators. No air conditioning in the sweltering heat. You saw the evacuations play out, and now, we learned how this unfolded. Some rez kesidents initially had been brought to the hospital across the street, where doctors and nurses were so concerned with what they saw, they went to the nursing home themselves, and what they witnessed, this nurse says, will hunt her forever. One patient's temperature reaching 106 degrees. ABC's Tom llamas from Florida again tonight. Reporter: Tonight, we are learning how one quick-thinking nurse triggered the emergency evacuation of that Florida nursing home, saving countless lives. 3:00 A.M. Wednesday morning, a patient from that home brought just steps away suffering from a heart attack. One hour later, another patient arrives from that same nursing home. An hour after that, a third another emergency call from that same facility. That was enough for the hospital's chief nursing officer Judy Frum. I, along with another colleague, decided that we needed to take a walk over to see if we could offer our assistance. Reporter: What did you exactly see? We saw a bunch of staff and they were extraordinarily stressed and panicked. Reporter: Frum says the staff at the nursing home was doing everything humanly possible to move patients to a cooler area with fans. But it was too hot. She saw patients dehydrated in distress. I thought it was an extreme situation that we had to get those people out. Reporter: But thanks to that emergency response, many were saved. One of them, 87-year-old Ed that Jefferson. Her daughter, vendetta, reuniting with her at the hospital. I said her name. Edna Jefferson! She opened her eyes. She looked at my eyes. Oh my gosh. That was the best thing. Reporter: And tonight, her message to the management of the nursing home? Quote, shame on you. What should happen to them? What should happen to them? Whatever the law allows. And then some. We throw our elderly away. They're a cash crop. It's not necessary. Reporter: On Tuesday night, Jean Johnson went to the nursing home to visit her friend of more than 40 years, Betty Hibbard. They had Betty in the hall, and one of the big blowers blowing on her. And when I saw her, tears was coming out, she said, Jean, I can't breathe, I can't breathe. Reporter: In the evacuation, Betty was rushed to the hospital. Jean rushed to her bedside, but it was too late. If you had a chance to talk to her before she passed, what would you tell her? I did tell her. Even though she couldn't hear me. I put my hand on her head and I prayed and I told her we loved her. And she couldn't -- I don't know if she heard me or not, but anyway, and the only thing I can say, is what a price to pay. Not just Betty, but all those people. And Tom llamas joins us from Florida again tonight. And Tom, there are still so many questions, and really, disbelief, because the hospital is right across the street. Police making it clear today that this is now a full-fledged criminal investigation? Reporter: David, this is a criminal investigation, and the crime scene is the nursing home you see just behind me. Tonight, police do have a search warrant, and the administrators tell us they are going to cooperate fully with this investigation to figure out what went wrong. David? Just heartbreaking, Tom.
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