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Exhaust fan causes minor fire at Rolling Fields nursing home

Meadville Tribune - 5/3/2024

May 3—SUMMERHILL TOWNSHIP — A malfunctioning exhaust fan set off a small but smoky fire Wednesday afternoon in a restroom at Rolling Fields Elder Care Community, a nursing home near Conneautville.

The fire in the men's room in the home's Dogwood Lane was caused by an electrical short, David Longo, chief of Fellows Club Volunteer Fire Department of Conneautville, said Thursday.

There were no injuries, but some residents in the home were evacuated as a precaution.

The short caused the fan's motor to burn and then catch the plastic shroud on fire, Longo said. The shroud then melted and fell to the floor of the restroom. Staff members were able to put out the fire with extinguishers.

Conneautville, Springboro and Summit Township volunteer departments were called to the scene and made sure the fire was out, Longo said. Hayfield and Linesville volunteer fire departments were called but were turned back en route.

There were 13 residents who were moved out of the Dogwood Lane area temporarily, according to a statement issued Thursday by Heritage Ministries of Gerry, New York, which owns the facility.

Rolling Fields, licensed to serve up to 181 residents, currently has 74 residents in total, the statement said. There were about 40 employees working at the facility at the time of the fire.

"Our dedicated staff responded immediately following all established fire safety protocols," Paul Lieber, the nursing home's administrator, said in the statement. "The situation was brought under control within minutes and the fire department arrived shortly after as a precaution. We are grateful for the professionalism and swift action of our staff, who ensured the safety of all residents throughout the incident. We are also pleased to share that families have been very complimentary about the calm and efficient way the situation was handled."

Keith Gushard can be reached at (814) 724-6370 or by email at kgushard@meadvilletribune.com.

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