The police chief only needed one word — “appalling” — to describe the life-threatening conditions that landed a care facility owner with felony charges this week in Tucson, Arizona.
Firefighters discovered the elder care home’s nine patients in distress while performing welfare checks there Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., police said.
Angelique’s Adult Care Home was 103.6 degrees at the time — so hot that five of the nine patients were taken to the hospital, Police Chief Chris Magnus said. Patients at the home, who range in age from 64 to 86, are either in hospice care or are vulnerable adults who need around the clock monitoring.
The facility’s air conditioning had been broken since Saturday, forcing the patient to endure sweltering conditions for several days. Temperatures in the city routinely cleared 100 degrees over that period, police said.
And the facility’s owner — 71-year-old Cynthia Hermann — was aware that the home’s air conditioner had been broken for days, police said.
Hermann has been arrested and faces five counts of felony abuse of vulnerable adults and nine felony counts of endangerment, police said. She’s being held at the Pima County Jail.
Authorities conducted the welfare check after a nurse went to the home to see a patient after hearing the air conditioning might not be operational — and when the nurse arrived, the nurse realized the house was 100 degrees, according to police.
That’s when the nurse called 911, police said.
The patients who weren’t hospitalized have been moved to other facilities. Police said investigation into the incident continues.