Augusta personal care home recently passed state investigation

CSRA News

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – We continue looking into the investigation of a personal care home that left two people dead and others injured.

First Love Personal Care Home, off Wrightsboro Road, is now condemned. We now know that there were two issues inside. One, there was carbon monoxide present and two, extremely high temperatures.

Augusta Attorney Austin Jackson sat down with NewsChannel 6 to upack what allegedly took place Sunday at the facility.

“They still fall under the Department of Community Health’s guidelines in terms of how to operate them safely,” he said.

Click here for the guidelines.

He said whether the owner faces civil or criminal charges all depends on DCH’s Healthcare Facility Regulations.

“You would look to their regulations to see if they potentially violated anything and guilty of any negligence,” Jackson said.

The coroner reported that both victims who died were found by the caretaker in different areas of the home. Four others went to the hospital to be treated for heat exposure after the District Attorney’s Office told us it was 138 degrees inside. It is unknown why it was so hot inside. But the DA also said there was carbon monoxide present.

“If the owner violated a statue regarding carbon monoxide detectors or the temperature was in excess of 85 degrees and the autopsies show these individuals died as a result of one or both of those situations, the owner could be subject to some wrongful death actions against them,” Jackson explained.

DCH data shows First Love Personal Care Home operated three facilities in the Augusta area. The one on Wrightsboro Road had a 6 person bed capacity. And in July, HFR conducted an investigation and found no violations.

We also spoke with an investigator from the CAVE Task Force, the entity charged with any criminal conduct against the elderly, including those spread across Augusta’s more than 80 personal care homes. While it only looks at cases such as financial exploitation and physical neglect, it does not regulate.

District Attorney Investigator Samuel Long said, “Sometimes it’s just as simple as referring it out to the regulatory body or a local code enforcement or for things like residents who are in those personal care homes and they’re sort of dissatisfied with whatever conditions there are, maybe making the connection for them with the long term care ombudsman who will serve as an advocate for them.”

Again, we are still waiting to learn more information. This is an ongoing investigation and we will continue to follow the story.

Photojournalist: Gary Hipps

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