Elderly man killed by fire at Myrtleford nursing home

INCIDENT: The Myrtleford Lodge in Prince Street. Picture: BLAIR THOMSON
INCIDENT: The Myrtleford Lodge in Prince Street. Picture: BLAIR THOMSON

A MAN has died after catching alight at a Myrtleford nursing home.

The Myrtleford Lodge resident had been smoking in a chair at the Prince Street premises about 1.15pm on Tuesday when his clothes caught fire.

He was flown to the Alfred Hospital by air ambulance in a critical condition but died in hospital.

Staff were left shaken by the incident.

He was treated by paramedics and taken by air ambulance to the Alfred Hospital in a critical condition

Ambulance Victoria spokesman

A nursing home manager declined to comment to The Border Mail on Wednesday.

Police were notified of the incident on Wednesday and attended the scene.

They also declined to comment.

An Ambulance Victoria spokesman said the man had been burned on his face, neck, chest and arms.

“He was treated by paramedics and taken by air ambulance to the Alfred Hospital in a critical condition,” the spokesman said.

The nursing home, which is part of the Bentley Wood Health and Aged Care Group, has 80 beds.

It has a designated smoking area in a courtyard and is equipped with firefighting equipment.

It’s not known which part of the building the man had been smoking in.

Initial reports suggested the man had been smoking in bed, but it’s understood he was sitting in a chair at the time of the incident. 

A handbook for the aged care home states residents should undergo an assessment to determine if they can smoke.

“Staff will conduct a risk assessment for all residents who wish to smoke to identify if the resident is able to smoke safely and independently,” it says.

The guide says residents may be subject to scheduled smoking times so staff can monitor them and staff may also store cigarettes and lighters. 

Indoor smoking is banned. 

“Staff have been trained for emergency procedures,” it states.

“In the event of an emergency, for example fire, follow staffs instructions.

“Emergency practice drills are conducted each year.

“You may be asked if you would like to participate.”

Police will prepare a report for the the coroner.