DALLAS TWP. – All 58 residents of the Back Mountain Care Center have been placed in other facilities as company officials began the cleanup and renovation of the assisted-living facility damaged Sunday when a sprinkler-system pipe broke.
Paul Ludovici, director of environmental services for Infinity Management, said it could take weeks to finish the work and for and the state Department of Public Welfare to allow the center, at 2856 Route 309, to reopen.
Everything depends on how fast we can get it repaired, Ludovici said. We have to clean it up and dry it out to prevent mold from forming. We'll have to remove some walls where water got trapped.
Ludovici said the displaced residents first were taken to the nearby Dallas Middle School on Sunday afternoon, then placed in local health-care facilities. He said nobody was injured during the incident and nobody was in Room 201 when the ceiling fell.
Some of the displaced residents later were taken to The Villa at Nanticoke, also owned by Infinity Management.
There was no chaos at all, he said. Everyone was very understanding. Water pipes sometimes break in winter. We're just glad no one was hurt and we were able to temporarily locate them to other facilities.
Ann Bale, spokeswoman at the state Department of Welfare, which regulates assisted-living facilities, said DPW representatives have visited the site and have contacted all displaced residents to make certain their needs are being met.
Our role is to ensure that all residents relocated have been done so safely and have all the resources they need, Bale said.
Bale said Back Mountain Care's license has been voided temporarily due to the physical condition of the site.
This is just a measure of the circumstance – it's not a punishment, she said. We have no reason to suspect the burst water pipe was due to a regulatory violation. There is no reason to suspect anything was wrong.
Bale said that if DPW does discover any violations the agency will work with the facility to address them. She said that before the facility can reopen, DPW must inspect it to ensure it meets all DPW regulatory standards.
Bale said the Back Mountain Care Center is operating under a full license, meaning it has been operating in full compliance with DPW regulations.
Ludovici said the center is owned by Infinity Management, headquartered in Pittsburgh. He said the company's chief executive officer and other officials were to visit the facility Monday.
Ludovici said the 58 residents – not 59 as first reported – were taken to the Middle School by bus and then transported to various health-care facilities. He said the center is licensed to house a capacity of 60 residents.
The sprinkler system is a dry system, but there was water in the lines, he said.
Residents of the Back Mountain Care Center and/or their family members can contact the state Department of Welfare with any questions or concerns.
The hotline number is 1-877-401-8835