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Nursing home fire caused by meth lab

Methamphetamines have grown to be a huge problem throughout the United States, even in Georgia. The drug is often concocted in homemade labs that are known for their toxic fumes and tendency to catch fire or explode. While such a production often goes undetected in individual homes, it is hard to imagine how one could be ignored in a nursing home.

A methamphetamine lab located in a nursing home recently caught fire and injured several people, killing at least one. The fire sent three residents and two non-residents to the hospital, including the suspected builders of the lab. One of the non-residents has since died.

Authorities have not determined how the suspects built the meth lab and how it remained undetected by nursing home staff. They believe at least one resident reportedly knew about the apparatus. The meth lab was housed in a resident's room.

The law requires that health care facilities, including nursing homes, provide a certain level of care. At the very least, this means that a care facility has to maintain a clean, safe environment.

When a nursing home fails to meet its standard of care - whether due to negligent staff, theft or outright abuse - the facility may be liable for any damages caused by the failure. Prior to the fire, the state had issued numerous citations to the nursing home for poor quality care and unsafe conditions.

Poor nursing home conditions may be so prevalent because it is usually not as overt as a meth lab explosion. Negligence and abuse can be difficult for outsiders to notice and hard to prove until serious consequences result.

A person who suspects that a loved one might be suffering from abuse in a care facility may benefit from consulting with an attorney who knows what signs to look for. After all, nursing home residents have the right to live well and in a safe environment, free from neglect and abuse.

Source: The Dallas Morning News, "Nursing home with meth lab fire was cited earlier," Kantele Franko, Mar. 6, 2012

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