CHICAGO (CBS)–A fire at a Northwest Indiana residential care facility has led to questioning as details regarding previous fire hazards surface.
Residents at the Lake Park Residential Care, who range in age from 32 to 86, waited in the cold while firefighters tackled a blaze on the second floor around 11 p.m. The fire is believed to have been caused by toilet paper that caught fire.
Some residents are complaining about potential fire hazards, in particular, residents smoking inside the building.
The facility has already been cited this year by the Indiana State Department of Health for failing to comply with fire and safety standards and the report cites smoking violations.
“There are a few people that refuse to come outside to smoke,” Lake Park Residential Care resident Charles Saladin said.
The facility’s Communications Manager Ericka McCauley acknowledged the complaints and said they’ve had difficulty enforcing the “no smoking” policy with their population, which includes some clients with special needs.
“Family and residents do have a right to be concerned,” McCauley said. “And so one of the things is that we do regular drills on that.”
The facility was also cited for failing to hold fire and disaster drills with the Lake Station Fire Department. McCauley said they have run the drills as recently as this month but could not provide documentation.
The Lake Station Fire Chief is declining to comment on the topic.
The Indiana State Department of Heath said they are now investigating the fire and working with the facility on a “plan of correction.”