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Fire officials said Thursday they have not yet determined the cause of the blaze that forced the relocation of more than 100 elderly people from a nursing home in Bowie, Maryland, on Tuesday.

No one was hurt, but the fire left many families worried about a new environment for frail loved ones.

Maurice Rose hurried to the Larkin Chase Center after the fire to check on his sister-in-law and was directed to the nearby Bowie Grammar School, where officials were placing patients to be transported elsewhere. He learned that his sister-in-law had gone to a rehab facility in Mitchellville and soon overtook her there.

“Initially they weren’t going to let me see her because it wasn’t a visitation day, but they relaxed the rules so I could see her and let the family know she’s fine,” Rose said Thursday. “She seemed to be in a good mood.”

Rose said his sister-in-law had temporarily stayed at Larkin Chase after her back surgery and it was unclear if she would finish her rehab in Mitchellville or return to Larkin Chase.

Several agencies have been involved in efforts to relocate older people to other facilities after the fire.

“It was kind of a wonderful transfer of a lot of patients in not so many hours,” said Una Cooper, a spokeswoman for the city of Bowie, who provided logistical support during the operation. “At one point, they had 24 different private ambulance services that handled the movement of patients.”

Lori Mayer, spokesperson for Genesis Healthcare, a holding company with subsidiaries including the Larkin Chase Center and nearly 250 skilled care centers and senior communities in 22 states, said Thursday the company is still assessing damages to determine how long the center will operate. . closed.

“We would like to thank the staff who acted so quickly and all of the first responders for their help,” Mayer wrote in an email.

Firefighters were called to the center around 3:45 a.m. due to a report of an explosion, Prince George’s County Fire and Rescue officials said. They arrived and found a small fire in the kitchen area of ​​the one-story house, the outer wall had collapsed. Rescuers found a man stuck in the office due to debris and were able to free him. They extinguished the fire before reaching the living quarters of the center.

Over 100 seniors relocate after Bowie Nursing Home fire

City officials on Thursday revised down the number of patients needed to be relocated from 112 to 111, saying one of them left for the hospital before the fire.

Cooper said patients were initially housed at the center, but by 6 a.m. officials began moving them to a nearby gym. Those who were mostly bedridden – 22 of them – were taken directly to other facilities. The six others went to the UM Bowie Health Center, a nearby emergency room. The rest – 83 patients – went to the gym before they were transferred to another place.

“Some of them went to family members, but the rest went to other nursing homes or care facilities across the state,” Cooper said. “My understanding is that in the beginning they tried to coordinate with other Genesis objects… But I know they ended up putting them wherever they could find beds.”

Patients have been transferred to Annapolis, Severn Park, Largo and Silver Spring, among other locations.

Courtney Dubos arrived at the gym to find that her 70-year-old father, who had been at Larkin Chase for about three years after suffering a stroke, had been taken to a center near Baltimore.

“Hey, you found me,” she said when her father told her when she got there. “He was fine. It was just a rebuild. He must have been a little confused because it all happened so fast. He was definitely looking for me or my sister.”

Dubose said she’s not sure about the long term yet. “No one has contacted me and told me what the next steps are, how long he will be there or anything like that,” she said.

She said she hoped he could go back to Larkin Chase or somewhere closer to home. “It’s far away and it’s a different facility so I don’t know doctors, I don’t know their history, how much they care about patients, I don’t know anything about that,” she said.

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