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What you need to know for 07/23/2017

29 residents of Malta nursing home moved out after fire

29 residents of Malta nursing home moved out after fire

About 30 residents of the Home of the Good Shepherd nursing home in Malta were evacuated to Saratoga

Twenty-nine residents of the Home of the Good Shepherd nursing home in Malta were moved to Saratoga County’s Maplewood Manor infirmary after a fire early Sunday morning, and will remain there for now.

The 1 a.m. fire was a small one in a clothes dryer, but the Good Shepherd building on Rock Rose Way off Route 9 sustained moderate water and structural damage, said Malta Ridge Fire Chief Peter Shaw. There were no injuries, however.

The residents of Good Shepherd’s memory care unit — where the fire broke out — were initially evacuated to other parts of the nursing home, and then moved by ambulance to Maplewood Manor in Ballston Spa.

It isn’t yet known how long the evacuees will remain at the county facility, pending assessment of the fire damage at Good Shepherd’s building.

The evacuees were accepted under a mutual aid plan that the county nursing home has with a number of other nursing care facilities to help in an emergency, said County Administrator Spencer Hellwig.

The county, which is beginning the process of trying to sell its 277-bed nursing home, just closed a 40-bed wing as a cost-saving measure. That’s where the Good Shepherd residents are staying now, he said.

“They’re being housed in the unit that was recently vacated due to our consolidation,” Hellwig said.

Good Shepherd employees are coming to Maplewood to provide care for the residents. The county, however, will be incurring some costs for providing meals, laundry and support services until the fire damage is repaired and residents can move back.

“Our priority is to see these individuals have a place to stay. We will sort out the other details later,” Hellwig said.

Shaw said Good Shepherd staff smelled smoke and called 911 around 1 a.m. Sunday, about the same time as an automated fire alarm went off.

The volunteer firefighters located the fire in a clothes dryer in a second-floor laundry room in the memory care unit, he said.

“There was smoke throughout the second floor,” Shaw said.

The fire was controlled within minutes, but the overhead sprinkler system went off, causing water damage. Firefighters also had to cut into floors and walls while fighting the fire, he said.

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