The toll in a Hollywood nursing home tragedy rose to 14 on Monday, with the deaths of two more people linked to a power outage. The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills became a deadly hot box when the air conditioning failed last month after Hurricane Irma swept past South Florida.
Cecilia Franco, 90, died at 3:45 a.m. Monday. Hollywood police announced the death of 95-year-old Francesca Andrade Monday afternoon.
The Broward medical examiner has yet to name an official cause of death for any of the 14 who died.
Franco lived only 26 days after her husband of 61 years, Miguel Antonio Franco, died along with seven other residents in the first run of deaths.
On Sept. 13, three days after Hurricane Irma knocked out power — including air conditioning — residents began dying at the overheated facility across a parking lot from Hollywood’s Memorial Regional Hospital. Cecilia Franco was described by family lawyers as being in serious condition when she was evacuated to St. Catherine’s Rehab Hospital in Hialeah.
“The Franco and Navarro families are now mourning the passing of their mother and grandmother Cecilia Franco, this on the heels of losing her husband of 61 years, their father and grandfather Miguel Franco, both of whom perished in a horrific avoidable tragedy which should never have occurred,” read a statement from Albert Levin, attorney for daughter Margarita Navarro. “Their pain cuts deeply having lost not one but two loved ones.”
Navarro filed a wrongful death and negligence lawsuit against The Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills on Sept. 22.
The nursing home and rehabilitation center is now just a homicide investigation crime scene after the state revoked the facility's license on Sept. 20 and the facility laid off all 245 workers the same day.