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Officials to investigate unauthorized assisted living home | News

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Officials to investigate unauthorized assisted living home
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(WBIR-Knoxville) An elderly woman is in a burn unit following a house fire. It happened at 7:30 this morning on McCroskey Avenue in North Knoxville. The Knoxville Fire Department said despite what the original call indicated, they later discovered the house wasn't being used as a residence.

They said it was unknowingly being used as an assisted living facility without the proper requirements. It also didn't have smoke detectors. When crews arrived on scene, they found a female caregiver helping three elderly people to safety. One woman was still trapped inside.

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"Captain Chip Key and Firefighter Henry Bookhardt made their way back to that individual, extinguished the flames, and got her out safely," said Captain D.J. Corcoran, Knoxville Fire Department.

That woman is now at Vanderbilt's burn center in Nashville.

Once everyone was accounted for, Captain Corcoran began to ask questions.

"When I asked the lady there, the caregiver, I asked 'is this a business' and she didn't really respond. So I said 'what's the name of the business' and she said 'no name on the business'," he said.

KFD believes the home served as an assisted living facility but without proper clearance from the state.

"We've notified the building department with the city and also the state, which regulates any type of assisted living," Captain Corcoran said.

Vincent Davis is the director of the Tennessee Office of Healthcare Facilities. He said it sounds like the home was being used as a Residential Home for the Aged.

He said a license isn't needed from the state if there are 3 or less unrelated people living there.

"This could very well be an individual who has turned their residence into a place for 1, 2, 3 or more elderly people to have a home, a roof over their head, and a bed," he said.

But in this case, there were four and a license would be needed.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee Department of Health said they have no such license on record and investigators will look into the case.

"The provider would have the opportunity to provide a written correction for whatever deficiencies may have been cited," Davis said. "Normally there is no fine the first offense or the first time."

KFD said the owner of the home found placement at a second property for three of the individuals living there and that property will be investigated also.

WBIR did reach out to city officials about the investigation and did not get a call back in time for this report.


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