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150 seniors displaced following electric malfunction at St. Andrews Residence in downtown West Palm Beach

'I was walking around with a flashlight'
Posted at 5:42 PM, Jun 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 17:42:17-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — At least 150 seniors are displaced following a possible electric malfunction at St. Andrews Residence in downtown West Palm Beach.

The incident happened Sunday night at the senior care facility located on Fern Street. On Monday, residents were told they would need to evacuate.

"I went upstairs, I packed my clothes came down and called my friend and she came and picked me up," said resident Richard Micciche. "I would assume it was with the electric in the building that we had for a couple of nights without air conditioning and no lights. I was walking around with a flashlight."

According to the fire department, crews responded to an emergency call at the building at around 6 a.m. Sunday.

"We responded on Sunday morning over there for the smell of smoke. They found some smoke in an electrical room. There was no active fire. Once they vented the area they told the property management what was going on, they noted that the power was out," said Asst. Fire Chief Brent Bloomfield, Emergency Manager at West Palm Beach Fire Department.

The property management company released the following statement:

As a result of the electrical malfunction the building lose power and we have relocated our residents until power is restored and repairs are made.
The residents are temporarily residing with family/friends or in a hotel, located a short distance from the community.
We are in the process of arranging transportation, meals and other services to ensure as little disruption for them as possible.
We are working with the fire marshal and other officials to ensure a smooth and efficient resolution to this situation. As always, our residents are our top priority at St. Andrews, we will do everything we can to reduce the inconvenience to our residents during this time.

This is not the first incident that has disrupted seniors at St. Andrews Residence.

Back in March, seniors had to be evacuated around 3:30 a.m. Officials at the scene said a malfunction in the electrical room caused smoke to fill parts of the building.

In October, residents were without air conditioning. Parts were delivered and the AC was fixed within a few days.

"I hope it gets fixed and I can get back into the building as soon as possible," said Micciche.