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Two Patients Rescued From Roof

Published: September 22, 2018 at 07:00 am

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UPDATE (September 21, 2018): This story has been updated with additional information received after the September 21 print edition went to press. 

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Newtown police and the Botsford Fire Rescue Company responded about 7 pm on Wednesday, September 19, to the Commons at Newtown/Newtown Rehabilitation & Health Care Center at 139 Toddy Hill Road on the report that two elderly patients from an assisted living facility there had found their way up onto a flat roof. There were no injuries in the incident.

Police spokesman Lieutenant Aaron Bahamonde said that the man and the woman reportedly had been “looking for food” when they opened an unsecured door to a utility room and then climbed up a stationary ladder to a hatchway, which they opened and then gained access to a flat roof. The building is several stories tall.

Staff members at the facility had been looking for the two people when a staffer spotted the pair from a window which overlooks the roof, after which the authorities were alerted of the situation, the lieutenant said.

Botsford volunteer firefighters were able to open a secured window adjacent to the roof, after which the calm man and woman were guided back into the building unharmed, police said.

Lt Bahamonde said the firm that operates the facility plans to review its security measures.

Tim Brown is a spokesman for Athena Health Care Systems, the firm which operates the complex. Responding to a call for comment, Mr Brown contacted The Newtown Bee after the deadline for the print edition of the newspaper.

Mr Brown said, "When the residents were observed [on the roof], a nurse from the center went on the roof and stayed with both residents for the duration, until they were safely brought back into the residence."

Following the incident, the managers and staff at the Commons at Newtown conducted a complete assessment of all locks and access points at the center to ensure that such an incident does not occur again, Mr Brown said. In cases where a malfunction occurred, replacements were made, he added. Also, staff members received training to ensure the safety of residents, he said.

"The safety, health, and well-being of our residents are the most important factors in the services we provide to our residents and their families," Mr Brown said.

Also, Mr Brown thanked Botsford volunteer firefighters for "their quick and professional response."

The Commons at Newtown, which is an assisted living complex, formerly was known as Lockwood Lodge. Newtown Rehabilitation & Health Care Center, which is a nursing home, formerly was known as Masonicare at Newtown. The complex changed ownership in June 2018.    

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