Power outage at nursing home prompts evacuation, paramedics say

Was iguana to blame scare at nursing home with insufficient generator power?

By Louis Aguirre - Anchor/Reporter, Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Marcine Joseph - Assignment Editor, Andrea Torres - Digital Reporter/Producer

LAUDERDALE LAKES, Fla. - Witnesses believe an iguana was partially to blame for the evacuation of a nursing home that appeared to have insufficient generator power in Lauderdale Lakes on Friday. 

The dead iguana was hanging from a power pole that caught on fire.  

The power outage that followed at the Palms Care Center, an assisted living facility in Lauderdale Lakes, prompted an evacuation and an investigation, according to Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue personnel. 

Paramedics responded to the nursing home at 3370 NW 47 Terrace and decided to rush 20 patients to area hospitals as a precaution. Juliete Dennis was visiting her sister when it happened. 

"They are doing their best," Dennis said. "All the staff was there and they moved around, the rescue team and everybody, they were getting the patients out."

Florida Department of Health records show the facility has 120 community beds and an onsite fixed generator. But witnesses said there was insufficient generator power. The facility's services include hospice and caring for patients with Alzheimer's and HIV. 

The Broward Sheriff's Office reported the power was restored about 10:45 p.m., and Florida Power & Light workers scanned the property to investigate the cause of the outage. 

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